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Looking at a Record Label’s Perspective

May 17, 2008

Clive Davis-Long Time Record Industry Vet

Artists and record labels have been clashing since forever. If an album doesn’t sell well, the artist blames the record label and the record label blames the artist. Every case is different. An artist who sells well the first time around will be expected (by the label) to sell the same if not better on the next album. If the artist is a flash in the pan (see the one hit wonder bin), their popularity is short lived. The label will blame the artist for not writing another hit and the artist will say the label didn’t market them enough.

The public most often takes the side of the artist as the record label is the evil corporation out to get the artist. It’s a better news story. The label wants to sell records so it can make money. There’s nothing wrong with that. Every business wants to make money (to be profitable)

If you had people employed, shareholders to please, and a family to feed, would you not be interested in being profitable? Would you take a risk on an “out-there” artist when your overall sales are in decline and the future of your business is not looking so hot?

Sure, there are countless stories of evil record label business people. There are also good people in the industry too. My point is to try and step into their shoes and see where there are coming from. This goes for managers, booking agents, fans, etc.

See where they are coming from, appreciate their interests, make sure they are aware of yours, and move forward together.

Make Great Music,

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