What Are The Odds of Getting a Record Deal in 2015?

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The New Music Industry

According to ReverbNation’s chart data as of January 2015, there are approximately 282,000 artists in the U.S. with active accounts on their platform pursuing a career in music. The majority of today’s artists have dreams of getting a record deal, but unfortunately, less than 1% of them actually have what it takes. If you’re into numbers, that’s roughly just 2,820 musicians in a pool — all swimming towards “getting signed.”

Three traits make this group of artists unique. They invest their TIME and MONEY into: 1) Making music, 2) Learning the business, and 3) Building a team.

The Odds of Indie Success Are Better

2,820 indie artists (out of 282,000) eventually go on to make a decent living as successful, independent musicians without a major record deal.

Getting Signed by a Major Label — Not Likely

A little under 4% of those successful indies (101 out of 2,820) have created a buzz so huge, they got picked up by a major label (or affiliate) in the past three years. Here’s a little more insight into the artists who recently signed record deals:

2012 (24 signed): Trinidad James, Chief Keef, Cash Out, Ty Dolla $ign, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Reese, YP, Iggy Azalea, King Louie, Action Bronson, Lil Durk, Rockie Fresh, Azealia Banks, Travis Scott, Adrian Marcel, Tiffany Foxx, BJ the Chicago Kid, Caskey, Trevor Jackson, Astro, B Smyth, Doe Boy, Trae The Truth and Angel Haze

2013 (26 signed): Young Thug, T.I., Sage the Gemini, August Alsina, Kid Ink, Snootie Wild, Kevin Gates, Logic, Casey Veggies, Jon Connor, Deniro Farrar, Dee-1, Fat Trel, Que, Tracy T, Katie Got Bandz, Vinny Cha$e, Gilbere Forte, Adrian Marcel, Chris Webby, Justine Skye, Lil Snupe, Majid Jordan, Bebe Rexha, Doughboyz Cashout, and TeeFlii

2014 (51 signed): Bobby Shmurda, K Camp, Dej Loaf, Migos, iLoveMakonnen,Wave Chapelle, Rae Sremmurd, Mac Miller, Kap G, Fetty Wap, Raury, Chris Miles, NameBrand, Mike Stud, Kranium, G-Eazy, We Are Toonz, Shy Glizzy, Tink, Young Money Yawn, Skeme, Dubb, Jacquees, Yowda, Dreezy, NF, Bishop Nehru, Dave East, Boldy James, Shawn Mendes, Fashawn, Rocky Diamonds, J.R. Donato, JoJo, Leon Bridges, Two-9, Isaiah Rashad, SZA, Neon Gold, Izzy Bizu, Halsey, Sam Smith, Matt Ox, Jacquie Lee, Vealous, Kygo, YFN Lucci, BAS, Cozz, Dillon Francis, and Wash

The Possibilities

So if 101 artists got signed in the last three years, then we should see at least 33 new artists get signed this year in 2015. This could get interesting seeing that Hip Hop is steadily evolving and the music keeps getting crazier.

-Farlin Ave (@farlinave)


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Author: Farlin Ave

Naheem “Farlin Ave” Houston is a musician and founder of 7 Star Dreams. When not busy being an entrepreneur, he works as an entertainment news journalist for the mainstream Hip Hop stations 97.9 The Beat in Dallas, TX and Hot 104.1 in St. Louis, MO. 

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