Friday, March 30, 2007

Sony BMG dumps the demo tape

Sony BMG have taken a bold leap into the future, telling any bands who want to get locked in to one of its contracts that, in future, it's digital or nothing from now. If you want someone in Sony's group of companies to hear your music, you now have to upload demos to one of an array of websites like It's because blogging is the future:

Blogging is clearly one of the major trends in music, media and entertainment," said Sony-BMG's UK and Ireland Music Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive Ged Doherty.

"100,000 new blogs go online each day at the moment, and the blogosphere is doubling every 230 days so it makes complete sense for the major labels to use the process in a creative way to encourage, discover and communicate with new artists," he said.

They've discovered blogs! And use the word "blogosphere"! (Despite nobody having said that with a straight face since about 1975.)

Seriously, it's an interesting idea, but we're a little bit bemused by the execution - we imagine that Reuters is getting a bit over-excited saying this is the only way to get demos to Sony labels, but since it's clearly meant to be the main way, the number of hoops you have to leap through are puzzling. You have to sign up to create a blog via SixApart's Vox service, agreeing to a bunch of terms and conditions in the process. This, to offer to work with a label.

This is sort of akin to the A&R department previously having forced people to open a small market stall before they could pass a cassette over. Since bands are the raw material of record labels, you'd have thought they would be looking to reduce the hoops, rather than increase the number of them to jump through.

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