With concert sales falling, YouTube stars rising and “American Idol” (as fans know it) ending, this summer has raised a lot of questions around the future of the music industry. For today’s Ypulse Interview we reached out to Grammy winning songwriter and producer Toby Gad for an insider’s perspective. Along with working with many popular artists including Beyonce, Fergie, Demi Lovato and Kelly Clarkson, Toby specializes in building the careers of young talent.
Below he speaks to some of the recent changes in the record industry, whatâs required to make it in music today and speculates on what will become of the record company.
Ypulse: How do you see platforms like YouTube and MySpace changing the music industry?
Toby Gad: I think it is giving the power back to the individuals. Now it’s up to the artist to not just rely on the record label to do all the footwork because artists can do most of the footwork themselves these days. They can build their own fan base via MySpace where they have their own audience and they have their own feedback. It’s a huge change and the record labels that used to be A&R-ing [Artists and Repertoire] records and putting records together and were in between the audience and the artists are now almost replaced in certain ways by media like YouTube where the artist can get direct feedback from the listener.
Look at artists like [Dutch singer] EsmÃ©e Denters. Justin Timberlake signed her to his record label after she had a huge buzz in Holland with 50 million YouTube views a year ago. She started out as an unknown kid in Holland just singing other people’s songs getting feedback like “try to sing this song,” or “I don’t like how you sing this.” That’s the same feedback A&R at a record label would give new talent. It presents a lot of opportunities for…