Artists and repertoire (A&R) is the division that consumes and distributes all of the musical content you see on television, in ads, and on your favorite streaming services. It’s also responsible for any live events or performances that take place in a venue. A&R works with artists who want to get their music heard by brands and marketers looking to work with them (e.g., TV shows like Big brother Ninja).
Does A&R still exist?
A&R stands for assistant and remuneration. It is a promotion structure that makes money by finding talent. A&R works as a middleman between the artist and their label or service provider and in most cases receives a percentage of their earnings.
A&R reps spend the majority of their time listening to music, scouring clubs, watching social media, reading music blogs, checking metrics, and tracking industry buzz on the hunt for promising new musical talent. They also rely on an evolving understanding of current music tastes and industry trends to find talent with the most potential for commercial success.
However, A&R roles vary depending on the size, structure, and budget of a record label or publishing company. Traditional A&R responsibilities involve signing an artist, guiding their subsequent career, artist development, and representing their interests within the label. A&R duties may also include organizing promotional and marketing efforts, supervising the entire recording process, finding musical collaborators, offering creative input, and more.
A&R also involves liaising with other departments within a company such as marketing (i.e., promotion), finance (i.e., promotion), legal (i.e., contracts), creative (i.e., songwriting or production credits), sales (i.e., performance rights agreements) and distribution (i.e., digital download sales).
HOW THE A&R ROLE IS CHANGING IN THE DIGITAL AGE
The A&R role has changed. In the past, an A&R person would oversee a record company’s entire roster, from songwriting and production to publishing and marketing. Today, that’s no longer true. As technology has evolved and become more accessible, the role of the A&R manager has evolved as well.
A&R managers are no longer responsible for overseeing everything about their acts — they’re more often relegated to working with one or two people at a time on their careers. In addition to recording artists and songwriters, today’s A&Rs also work with social media influencers who have millions of followers on Instagram, Snapchat, or Vine; they may also have some experience in podcasting or video editing.
This kind of specialization is part of what makes music industry jobs so attractive today — especially if you’re someone who wants to focus on one aspect of making music instead of being spread too thin across every aspect.
HOW TO GET A&R ATTENTION
Getting the attention of an A&R can be difficult, but there are some things you can do to increase your chances of being seen by one. An A&R is responsible for signing new artists and developing careers. Not only does this person see potential in your work, but he or she can also provide feedback on how your music will fit best in the high-profile industry it was created for.
1. BUILD YOUR BRAND
In today’s music industry, branding can play more of a role in an artist’s success than the music they create. Artists are not merely selling their music; they’re selling an image, an experience, and a message which defines them.
An artist is defined by their brand. People will remember the name of an established musician or artist much more than a person with no brands at all. You need to build your brand in order to get A&R (artists and repertoire) attention. This post will help you do just that!
2. BUILD YOUR FAN BASE
A&R reps take more interest in an artist with a strong fan base. Expand your fan base by:
- Developing a social media presence is one of the best ways to promote your music, expand your fan base and engage with fans.
- Getting your music featured on Spotify playlists isn’t easy. In order to get listened to, you need to create great music that already has an amazing following. And let’s face it — promoting through Spotify isn’t exactly cheap. But one of the best things about scoring a spot on their playlists is that it can help expose you to a massive audience of new fans.
- The first step to gaining exposure and establishing credibility is getting your music featured on a popular music blog. When you are featured on a music blog, your music will receive more plays, views, and downloads. This will impact your brand as well as your sales because there are millions of blogs that link back to each other. Allowing this ecosystem to work is important because it ensures visibility and legitimacy for all artists in the process.
- Playing lots of shows is a great way to build your brand and increase awareness. While streaming music has become more prevalent, live performances are still crucial for building brand recognition. And it’s even better if you can manage some of those gigs yourself.
- Email marketing and social media are powerful promotional tools for musicians. Email alone can generate significant attention, leads, and sales – what many consider to be the most cost-effective form of promotion. However, like any tool in your promotional arsenal, email has its strengths and weaknesses – so it’s crucial you know how to use it effectively!
- Building your brand through video content is not a new idea. Yet it is not as common as it should be today thanks to our tools and technology, which make creating and sharing highly engaging content easier than ever before. For example, YouTube has become a must-use media platform for musicians seeking to gain exposure. Video is an effective medium for music promotion — it tells a story, can retain attention, and can be shared on multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to name just a few.
Having an established brand can give you an edge over other brands and producers. The more momentum and excitement you can build around your brand, the more likely an A&R will take notice.
3. NETWORK AND BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
Building relationships and networking in the music industry is always helpful. Boost your chances of getting noticed by making connections. Get out and connect with people, regardless of their status. Try to meet other artists, producers, DJs, publicists, booking agents, label staff, fans, and anyone else in the music scene. These connections could lead to opportunities. But you must be professional and approach them in a way that makes you seem like a businessperson.
4. GET DISCOVERED ON MUSIC DISCOVERY WEBSITES
Music discovery websites make it easier to capture new fans, discover new music, and more. Many connect you with the right people and services to help you advance your career in the music industry. They serve a valuable role in assisting independent musicians with industries for promotion, sales, and engagement. But which sites are best? Here’s a list of my top 4 favorite music discovery websites: SubmitHub, Pitchfork, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and ReverbNation
5. APPLY MARKETING STRATEGIES
Marketing and promotional strategies play an essential role in increasing outreach and getting your music heard. An effective marketing campaign will help you increase exposure, establish credibility, and open new opportunities. There are several excellent ways to promote your music and reach new audiences. Do some research on public relations and marketing strategies for musicians. Here is a description of the five most effective strategies you can use:
The role of A&R has changed significantly in the last decade. With the advent of digital technology and social media, most artists play for themselves these days. Record labels that depend on A&R to make albums are a dying breed. This doesn’t mean that A&R is out of a job, though. It merely means that it is easier than ever before to find artists that merit a record deal through alternative means. And now more than ever, there are many new models to choose from…
We started the company because is quite difficult to make hit records. Emerging artists have limited resources to promote their songs or album while they are trying to get their name out there. And record label often doesn’t have time or resources to find new talent and develop them into a marketable artist.