The pipeline – isn’t that the question? Labels, imprints, and independents alike are all trying to nail down "the formula for success." As a manger you sit and strategize because there are so many different routes you can take with a band, but ultimately everyone is still trying to figure out how to take a music act from zero to sixty.
Breaking acts used to be pretty straight forward – Take a good song, service it to radio and with enough spins and enough press the odds were in your favor. Now a days with the internet, terrestrial and satellite radio, it’s harder to nail down a direct pipeline. You need so many different media outlets and platforms to capture the same audience that radio itself use to provide. Similarly, look at TV – It’s kind of in the same place. With viewership way down content needs to live on multiple platforms to get even modest viewership these days. So what's the pipeline? Brands.
I mean other than getting a co-signed or leaning on an act that already has notoriety it’s brands. Look at Converse for example – they have nearly 40 million Facebook fans. An audience of almost 40 million people who immediately see whatever they post – brands have the ability to offer a streamlined exposure to a mass audience. It's really not about "selling out" anymore, it's about going with the most viable option, and teaming up with brands is the smartest thing an act can do to get their music out to a mass audience.
Hate it or love it, I feel like we're going to see more and more musicians teaming up with companies to help increase their exposure. I'm sure the check doesn't hurt, either.