THE MUSIC BUSINESS REGISTRY, INC.
Dear A&R Registry Reader,
Welcome to our first A&R Registry issue of 2014. It's hard to believe that yet another year has come and gone. Before we delve into the changes across our industry, we wanted to say a special thank you to all of our readers, subscribers and advertisers over the years. This year marks the 22nd year of the A&R Registry's publication. Some of you have been along for the ride the entire time, others have joined us, left to come back later in new positions at different companies, and some of you are our newest customers just recently coming aboard. Regardless of your tenure with us, thank you. It's been an amazing twenty-two years! Our first issue of the year is also the time when we look back and share an overview of all of the A&R activity that has occurred in 2013. Some interesting trends continue to emerge in this brave new world and yet, there are still no clear-cut paths to signing and launching a successful artist or band.
Looking back at 2013 in the A&R world, there were thirty-nine A&R staff hired at record labels. That's down from the fifty-five A&R staff hired in 2012, but dramatically up from the thirty-one hired in 2011 or the twenty-three hired in 2010. Also as dramatic, that's way down from the fifty-eight hired in 2009 or the eighty hired in 2008. Sadly, twenty-four A&R executives exited their jobs in 2013. Out of that twenty-four, there were only three that managed to get another A&R job in 2013 (Mike Flynn who left Epic and then hired by Capitol, Peter Thea who left Island/Def Jam and then hired at Warner Bros. and Pino Pumilla who left Polydor and was hired at BMG Music in an A&R capacity). Those twenty-four stand in stark comparison to the twenty-seven in 2012, thirty-eight in 2011, forty in 2010, fifty in 2009 and sixty-four in 2008 who left their A&R jobs. Interestingly, in 2012 not one of the A&R people who left their job found another A&R job in 2012. In 2011, out for the thirty-eight who left their A&R job, Shawn Holiday who was hired by RCA was the only person who managed to find another A&R job that year. This year, Evan Peters, who left Interscope in 2011, just joined Virgin in 2013. It was the same in 2010 - out of the forty A&R people who left their jobs, only one managed to land another A&R position and that was Rob Stevenson at Universal/Republic.
In 2013, only six* A&R executives moved from one A&R job to another (we're defining an A&R 'move' as leaving one A&R job for another while still employed)/ Those fortunate executives include Shawn Holiday who joined Columbia from RCA, Pete Giberga who joined Lyon Cohen's new company 300 from Razor & Tie, Stefan Max who joined Atlantic from Roadrunner, Riggs Morales who joined Atlantic from Shady/Interscope, Imran Majid who joined Columbia from Universal/Republic and Susan Busch who joined Domino from SubPop. Those numbers are down three or thirty-three percent from the nine that moved A&R jobs in 2012 or the twenty-six that moved A&R jobs in 2011, ten in 2010 or fourteen in 2009. (*Note: it would be nine moves if we counted Dan McCarroll, Steve Barnett and Ted Cockle, but those jobs are not strictly A&R positions, but President/MD of their respective labels - Warner Bros., Capitol and Virgin-UK.) The year 2013 also saw twenty-five labels move to new locations
It's also interesting to note that according to Billboard, "U.S. digital track sales decreased for the first time ever in 2013, dropping from 1.34 billion to 1.26 billion, according to Nielsen Soundscan. CD sales also continued their ongoing decline, dropping 14 percent to 165 million. Digital album sales were fairly stable, staying at 118 million sold last year. Meanwhile songs streamed through services like Spotify, YouTube and Rhapsody increased 32 percent to 118.1 billion." It begs the question, in an era where you can access whatever music/songs/albums you want whenever you want on any number of devices you want, why would you ever need to physically own anything? This is a question that today's business has woefully avoided for years, but reports like these in Billboard show that doing so is to the detriment of their business.
Sadly, in looking back over this past year, there was a tremendous amount of loss in 2013 of so many beloved artists, executives, producers, musicians and others who have been such a rich and valuable part of our lives and industry including Phil Everly, Lou Reed, Alvin Lee, Phil Ramone, Ray Manzarek, Saul Zantz, Polly Anthony, Ray Price, Tony Sheridan, Robert Zildjian, Andy Johns, Richie Havens, Bobby Bland, George Jones, Van Cliburn, Mindy McCready, Patty Andrews, Patti Page, Donald Byrd, Jackie Lomax, Dan Toler, Clive Burr, Bobby Smith, Alan O'Day, Chris Kelly, Chrissy Amphlett, Ray Price, Ricky Lawson, Chico Hamilton, J.J. Cale, Eydie Gorme, Jim Fogelson, Al Coury, Simone Bose, Storm Thorgerson, Ray Dolby and Mark Emerman were just some of the legends we lost this past year.
And so, shifting gears and saying goodbye to 2013 and looking ahead to 2014, and of special importance for our Publisher subscribers, if you have moved or have changes in personnel, please be sure to contact Ritch right away by email at email@example.com or by phone at 818-781-1974 or 800-579-4655 since we'll be starting our final updating soon for the new 2014 edition of the Music Publisher Registry.
Until our next issue, please know that we always try our best to make sure all of our directory information is correct at the time of printing, but if you ever come across a bad telephone number or email address, just let us know and we'll make sure to track down the correct information (if we haven't already!). Until then, we remain
Ritch Esra and Stephen Trumbull
The Music Business Registry, Inc.
7510 Sunset Boulevard, #1041
Los Angeles, CA 90046-3400 USA
740-587-3864 * Fax: 818-495-4875
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