Artist Development

Artist development is a professional process which performing artists and songwriters undertake, traditionally as unsigned artists or unpublished songwriters, in order to cultivate their musical attributes into an attractive commercial proposition for labels and publishers. Labels and publishers will often invest in artist development before committing to a record or publishing deal. This is usually a short-term and low budget agreement where both parties take on some risk with the goal to reach an exclusive contract with greater financial risk and, hopefully, financial return in the future. Artist development consultants are often artist managers who are not yet ready to commit their full attention to a new prospect but show a level of interest for the future by contributing their expertise with the expectation to receive a ‘first option’ in the event that the artist develops successfully and appears to have become commercially viable. This may be reflected by a contract offering from a third-party label, publisher, management firm, booking agency, sponsor, or otherwise. Some record labels have divisions that operate in a similar manner as do music publishers, albeit less common.

Artist development is loosely defined and may incorporate every aspect of a performing artist or songwriter’s career or just a very specific facet. If the artist or songwriter is relatively mature, the artist development process may be highly focused on one or two specific career-building elements such as public relations or college radio promotion. It’s possible that the artist or songwriter has already raised significant attention and simply needs one more ‘push’ to tip him over the edge and bring industry partners to the negotiating table. This is usually the goal if the artist or songwriter is represented by a professional who aims to capitalize on a percentage of the first record, publishing, and/or licensing deal, as well as future signings.

We Are Listening recognizes the importance of consistent and specialized artist development. We have created a unique assessment service for performing artists and songwriters to receive feedback from music industry professionals as a means to develop they’re craft and meet current must industry trends and expectations.

Jag Star
"Your contests are a wonderful
resource for artists and we can't
thank you guys enough!"
-Jag Star