Awful music is heard everywhere. Listeners only have to turn to a radio station or a televised music channel to find that out. Here in Cleveland, 107.9 FM, for example, don't help when listeners have to hear the same songs played over and over. They’d be lucky if they heard just one meaningful tune, but hoping to hear two great ones is a crap shoot in of itself. However, that’s partly the fault of stockholders and the US economy pressuring record labels to increase profits. The record labels would, therefore, pressure their artists to sell enough music or else they would drop those artists from the radar. Until a few decades ago, that wasn't always the case.
There was a time when A&R personnel (employees working for record labels) would find musicians with high musical abilities and quickly sign them to a record deal. They would bring these musicians to the labels’ artist development department to enhance the musicians’ music and marketing image. As a result, those musicians became hit stars. This may be a bit oversimplified, but the process is pretty much what went on.
In today’s time, musical talent is not enough for major record labels to sign an artist. What really matters is that unsigned artists must create their own buzz and brand their own image. If the buzz is great enough for the major labels to take notice, the labels would then take the artists into consideration, even if the music is crap. Mr. Collipark felt that way before he signed Soulja Boy to Interscope Records.
On the other hand, musicians and recording artists who really do have musical proficiency still think labels will magically scoop them up. They’re relying on their music instead of a marketing campaign to get them noticed. Business plan experts say people let their own passion obscure the importance of marketing and mistakenly believe having the best product alone would grant them success.
It’s not that record labels are deliberately signing bad artists over the good ones, but rather they’re looking for those who are already developed. They want to buy the package, not build one. Newer technologies giving people the opportunity to bootleg music also contributed to the cause of most labels eliminating their artist development departments. Developing artists takes time and money, so they did away with it. Not to mention that some music executives or record label managers are not musicians themselves, and therefore may not be able to relate to the musician’s struggle between art and business.