Why your band is not going to get signed?
Created: 6 November, 2011
You may have really good music, but still your chances to get signed to one of the remaining traditional independent labels are remote. And you are not to blame. The lack of ideas on their part and clinging to the old ways of doing things result in even excellent music not being officialy released ever.
There is however something to give you some comfort. Labels no longer hold the key to somebody’s career. What most of them do is chasing their own tail while desperately fighting for survival.
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If a label decides to take you on, it is a clear sign, that you are good enough to do well on your own. They have no money to invest in you, they are on the brink of collapse and have no idea what to do next. What they have, and what is the only reason the traditional independent labels still exist is the brand and distribution network.
It is easy to tell how desperate the situation is by the prices of CDs. Why the hell does the price not go down? Because most of the people won’t buy whatever the price. Dropping the price will not result in increased sales. Or, to be precise, the sales will not go up enough to justify such move.
In most of the cases, you will be taken on only if your band is a sure bet. They will take your music, leverage their existing business network and customer base to make little profit on it, leaving you, obviously with nothing. Sorry, you will get the fame :)
There is a big gap between those who managed to get into the labels before things started to go rough, and those desperately banging at the gate. The gate is, and will remain closed. In some time, some will realise, that there is nobody in anymore.
You should not bet your career on a hope that one day you are going to be one of the lucky ones. If you have just started your band, the chances are that by the time you become attractive to labels, they will simply no longer exist. If I were you, I would act as if the labels did not exist already. I would try to get good at promoting and selling my band on my own. This is what the future big bands of our scene are doing now. The labels no longer have the key, but good news is, that now it is you who holds it.
Do not fetishize the fact of being signed. Apart from some prestige and publicity it does not really matter anymore. What matters now is your music, and this is a good thing after all.