SonyBMG deletes demo CDs, logs onto blogs
By Gavin HaycockFri Mar 30, 9:37 PM ET
Thinking of sending your band's demo CD to a music label in the hope of landing a deal? Don't try SonyBMG, who want to sample your music online instead.
SonyBMG, the world's second-biggest music company, said that from Monday it would no longer accept hard copy formats.
Instead, budding musicians will be asked to sign up to a record label Web site such as www.columbiademos.co.uk or www.rcademos.co.uk to blog their music, photos and videos.
"Blogging is clearly one of the major trends in music, media and entertainment," said SonyBMG'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.
The move echoes strategies used by start-ups such as Amsterdam-based Sellaband and San Francisco-based social networking Bebo to attract talent and get artists known quickly to a fast-growing audience.
This is particularly key given it is rare for unsigned artists to make an impact simply by sending in music via tape or CD to a company with no significant references or reputation.
Universal Music, the world's biggest music company which is owned by French media giant Vivendi, recently launched what it billed as the largest online site for classical and jazz music, allowing fans to buy direct from its catalog of more than 100,000 tracks.
The site has an area on the site where unsigned musicians can upload their music and submit information about themselves.
Doherty said the new blog initiative would hopefully help break down the barriers between new artists and music companies.
SonyBMG is a joint venture of Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news). and Germany's Bertelsmann AG.