Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No Positive Reputation = VULTURES

Today’s entertainment industry has created a totally new type of divisive character. The person who makes the saying “shady business”, a reality. The main reason this person exists is due to the lack of Positive Reputation among today’s industry players.

The contemporary music business has created a host of new players and new positions, unfortunately the honesty of these players is not based on their actions. A few examples of the new breed hustler starts with their ability to consistently find people and companies that are new and uneducated. The sayings, “up and coming”, “about to blow up”, “new day in the music business”, “next one to hit”, and “not new to the game” are ALL flags to the new breed vulture to get these people immediately.


Promotion Man / Woman – Once having this title meant you had a position of importance within the music community is now an open license to lie and steal from unsuspecting artists and companies. Everyone wants their music to be played over radio and television believing that once their music is heard they will become rich and famous. Very few artist understand that airplay is one of the final cogs in the musical business wheel, only needed AFTER you have created a fan base, developed a distribution strategy, done copious amounts of publicity and promotion plus seen significant sales. Then acquiring airplay will increase your sales base, popularity and notoriety. The new promotion person prays on the inability to understand this and promises visions of massive sales, humongous airplay spins and increased popularity both over the air waves and over the Internet.

The reality is that the artist winds up spending thousands of dollars fir their song to be played on a mix show or on a “make it or break it” show, then they are told that their song was not good enough to be considered a hit. By the way there are NO REFUNDS – NO CANCELLATIONS.

Record Pool DJ's & Directors - This is another "hyped" filled position with an organization that has a different twist. First the record pool wants your money to play your music in a club or over a radio station mix show where THEY GET PAID to play music. (Double Dipping) They offer you the ability to be on a conference call, be added to a website or perform at one of their venues for an additional fee. There is no logical business development plan to grow your song or attract new listeners. Ultimately you are told that if you don't use their services your music will be blacklisted and never heard in the environments that they control or work within.

Record pools were created to assist individual record companies place their music within clubs and venues playing recorded music. The pool members listened to your music gave it a few plays and returned feedback to the artist or label. Record labels in turn assisted the pools by developing promotional items (special vinyl, t-shirts, etc.) giving free shows and communicating with the individual pool DJ's on a regular basis. Record pool directors charged their membership for the service of receiving new music and record label promotional items. Now there are pool directors that claim the same responsibilities of promotion people, telling artist and labels that they can deliver a record to radio and develop sales and a fan base.

Retail Promoters - I honestly thought that this business was dead but here we go again with another useless reason to collect more money from an unsuspecting artist. Approximately 90% of the retail accounts selling music in the United States are owned by corporate entities. Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Best But, Target are the retailers that control the sale of physical product. They all buy from authorized vendors who are either major labels or one stops. What can a retail promoter accomplish? They can not place any music within the corporate accounts, they can not get information on product that is sold in these accounts and they have no influence with the authorized wholesale vendors. Hiring one of these people is akin to having smoke blown up your ass. Feels good for a moment than the odor assaults your senses.

Consultant - A new position with an old twist, most contemporary consultants are ex- record company promotion people who still believe that they can get a record added to radio station play lists. The reality here is that the music business has changed into a digital delivery, digital promotion licensing business and will never return to the OLD RECORD GAME. The consultant game is to tell you what they did back in the day and get you thinking that they can make an immediate difference in your professional career. Once again there is no business plan, no development plan and no real knowledge of how to work in today's digital world.

The easiest way to avoid these new era vultures is when they approach you ask them WHAT HAVE YOU DONE LATELY?

Reputation in this industry is developed over time, weather it is negative or positive. It can't be changed for Reputation is history. The Internet allows almost anyone with a credible past to be researched. Google is the search engine of choice and if the person or company you want to do business with comes up with several negative reports, 10 times out of 10 YOU will be a victim.

Do your homework; do not sign contracts until you have had them explained to you by an outside source. Do not believe the hype of how great your song is or how much someone is going to do for you because you wrote, sang, rapped or performed.

The vultures are out and they will circle the uneducated, peck at the gullible and devour the greedy.