Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why major record labels are dead
Why you should not sign with them
Building the Band Brand: Becoming famous in the 21st Century series

One turn of the twist of fate and you probably wouldn’t have heard of Taylor Swift, one of the world’s top 3 performers at the current time.

Taylor Swift nearly signed with RCA Records, but at the last moment signed with start-up Big Machine Records. Her career took flight at a fledgling label where at RCA she’d probably be unheard of now.

Major record labels are killing themselves. This morning I tried calling Warner Brothers Records publicity department. I spent 35 minutes getting the run-a-round. Blog is in the top 8 percent of blogs worldwide. It was the first to announce Miley Cyrus fall concert tour – April 11 while mainstream media waited until June 3.

It was the first to announce Ashley Tisdale performing at the Grove in L.A. on June 27.

It was the first to announce the forthcoming Hannah Montana Volume 3 soundtrack to be released July 7, two months before Miley Cyrus kicks off her fall tour.

At Warner, I went through so many voicemail messages it was ridiculous. I finally got through to a live human after 20 minutes, and they put me into Rhino Records where the person at the other end of the phone was upset I actually called looking for Warner.

Same story at Disney. All you get is recorded announcements.

Warner’s has no mechanism to email them on their Web site. Disney public relations department does not return emails. CBS Radio refuses to answer questions or call back.

Wish I could report a happy experience with Big Machine Records, but when I called there, all I got was the answering machine run-a-round again.

What happened to companies that actually had people answering the phone? For a long time I’ve known public relations was as dead as the newspaper industry, that’s why I became a Marketing Sociologist.

If you think you’ve made it if you sign to a major label, think again. You’re going to be more lost than you are right now.

Following Building the Band Brand: Becoming famous in the 21st Century advice, and pre-ordering the forthcoming book through (we respond to email, unlike Disney, CBS and Warner) will help you launch your career to great heights.

Ashley Tisdale – again – is an example of Building the Band Brand: Becoming famous in the 21st Century. She doesn’t rely upon her record label to do the publicity work. She announced her Salt Lake City and Los Angeles performances on Twitter, her Web site, MySpace and probably sites I’ve never heard of – yet they are valid in Building the Band Brand.

If you’re concerned with your music career and becoming famous, you’ll take your fate in your own hands - as Taylor Swift did. Listen to Shanica Knowles at MySpace. She produces her own music. Tie it in with the marketing experts found at places like and other outstanding marketing firms like Bob Merlis in Los Angeles, Dennis Erokan in the San Francisco Bay area and creator of the Bammie awards. Think about this – here’s three of music’s foremost marketers and they are located on the West Coast or Sonoran desert. Granted, there are outstanding marketers throughout the world, but it seems the best, like Ashley Tisdale, are on the west side of the nation.

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