Title: Poor Demo Packages - Why Do Artists Send Them?
Friday, October 29, 2010 12:26:51 PM
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do some work for a radio station in basically A&R-ing the packages that came into the office to see if there was anything worthwhile that could be played in a graveyard radio slot. Graveyard meaning that horror time for DJ's between 2am and 5am in the morning when very few people listen to the radio except maybe a few insomniacs and any nightshift workers.
Now the packages that came in from unsigned artists was shocking to say the least in their amateur-ish status. I went through exactly 100 packages as a bit of an experiment. Here was the outcome. Four packages (4%) were blank CD's, these artists had not bothered to check their CD to see if there was any music on their CD before sending them off. Three (3%) contained data but could not be played due to using an unrecognised format.
It gets worse, how about this, an incredible 68 packages (68%) of artists had not put contact details on their CD's. What's going on here. This is basic stuff and surely common sense!
It doesn't matter whether you are sending demo packages to radio stations, record companies, publishers, promoters, agents or prospective managers always, always make sure that the appropriate information is on all sections of the package ie biog, covering letter, business card, CD sleeve and of course the CD itself.
Give us your viewpoint as an artist or as the person receiving these packages. Why do some artists bother sending them if they are not professional enough. As someone once said to me 'If the artists don't take care of their material then why would an A&R person bother when they see an amateurish approach from the onset?'
Friday, October 29, 2010 12:37:17 PM
Re Demo Packages, unfortunately alot of bands and solo artists if they do not have proper representation i.e. manager they will concentrate more on the music and gigging rather than actually thinking about the professional package as far as the music industry is concerned they are a product and the promotional packaging therefore needs to contain the correct information.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010 7:52:44 AM
Richard, I think you will love Indian artists for their very professional approach. Most of them who send me their CD's are very professional about it. Neatly labeled, well packaged, etc. But the best part is they are great at follow ups. Something I see lacking in western artists. Most of them expect to get a reply asap and since they are sending their CD's to so many people at once, they tend to lose track of the people they have established relationships with. I think its the worst thing for an artist to do - Forget the very person they send a demo CD to..
Friday, April 15, 2011 9:20:11 AM
it know the inconvenience of poor pr-packages from bands. Anyway, can you maybe define how a professional designed promotion package should look like? So what is important for an A&R? Continuity in design, (of course it should contain al the information), but actually what should be the perfect content? CD, Photo, Info-text, etc all branded by band artwork and contact information or should it directly contain the whole business plan w/ all the research on target audience, competitive environment etc.? What is the best way to approach an A&R? Booker? Publisher?
I would be greatful if we could define some guidelines for artists/managers to create the 'perfect' promotion package. :)
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 12:10:10 PM
I again sat in for an A&R session with a small local niche label and was pretty stunned at the poor quality of submissions.
Although just about all the groups sent in music, links and PDFs that were fine technically, I'd say pretty much none of them had listened to recent releases from the label - or they had decided to ignore them.
it's pretty easy to know what labels are doing thee days. So do your homework.
Deep down, labels would love to receive relevant material. So they look at each new one with curiosity and some hope. That mood turns very quickly when it's clear that the music is not appropriate at all - even though some of it was OK at a broader level.
A last tip: a list of recent and upcoming gigs is a clear sign that the project is a living, breathing entity rather than a bedroom recording. So do add those to submissions.