Independent or major label Essay Paper

Independent or major label
   Independent or major label

Independent or major label

You are the A&R director for a) One existing music company (independent or major label) OR b) One fictional music company (perhaps your own). The president of the label asks you for a three-year A&R plan to include ten releases to keep the company in business, not necessarily to be big hits. What is your plan? Maximum length: 1800 words.

PURPOSE: To consider what goes into an A&R plan, justify your decisions, and write an A&R plan based on your evaluation of the music industry today.

  1. Introduce the label, briefly describing: a)What genre(s) it specializes in? b)How many artists are on its current roster? c)what is the current business model: digital distribution, physical (vinyl), brand affiliated, special product, Film and TV and the proposed new model if you are to suggest one, d)What is the profile of the labels’ consumer (demographics, size of market, location).
  2. Write a brief reflection on the estate of the industry today and your forecast for the next three years. Although the label is fictional, the industry conditions are real so you can use real artists in a real industry scenario.
  3. DO YOUR FIELDWORK before suggesting artists. For example, you should:
  • attend concerts, clubs or showcases;
  • attend DJ performances and gauge public’s reaction to the tracks played
  • get recommendations from tastemakers in your circle/network;
  • investigate an artist’s contract status with another label
  • use music discovery apps and websites
  1. Write an A&R plan for ten releases over three years, covering all the following topics:
  • types of repertoire: one genre, two genres, many genres, etc.
  • types of artist: solo, band, early in career, etc.
  • current trends that you are interested in that affect A&R decisions
  • how much you plan to change your current roster
  • investment category: label can’t afford all to be big-budget projects
  • priorities: all releases equal, two focus releases, etc.
  • a timetable of signings, productions, and releases
  1. Write up a reflection giving reasons for your decisions. Include specific reference to criteria you used to evaluate both the repertoire and the performers and to decide what to include and prioritize.
  2. Include a budget request for your A&R plan highlighting the costs associated to each release and how do you plan to recover those costs through the exploitation of assets (songs and recordings).

Criteria for grading: logical reasoning, adherence to the label profile, completeness of plan, research, and clarity, organization and coherence of writing are the principal grading criteria


  • Completeness and logic of label profile; Identification of ten releases
  • A&R plan (presentation of data) Justification of the A&R plan and criteria
  • Clarity of Writing (including grammar, spelling, typographical accuracy) & coherence of writing (including structural logic, length, flow, and fit with the scenario). Thorough and correctly-documented research. QUOTE BIBLIOGRAPHY!

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