Atlantic Records are soliciting musician submissions for money. People posing as A&R (artist and repertoire) for Atlantic Records are contacting artists for their submissions of music. “Instead of asking for your bank account and promising money, these perpetrators are asking you to pay them $79 via a PayPal.me link for them to review your music for consideration. They state: “Legally we cannot officially review any material until a payment is received which then makes it legal material. (Digital Music News)” A&R should be done professionally with an official email, follow ups, and asking for money up front. A&R is a professional task and for the most part the talent will come to the labels, especially if their content is good enough to get signed.
A&R in the past was primarily done by going to concerts and finding interest in a musical act to sign to a label. In the Internet age, there is a combination of both. This industry has been decentralized and professionalism can be difficult to be effectively done in an industry where the artists can be hard to get a hold of and keep in contact with, especially if they are not established. Labels have less power because a musician can distribute and promote their music via social media and other online outlets.
Atlantic Records has not acted. This is detrimental to the company because this is bad press, they may lose faith in some musicians, and overall scamming is not good when it is affiliated with your company. Atlantic Records must be transparent and possibly be philanthropic and help the people that have fallen victim to these PayPal scams. Fortunately, these scams are minor and don’t affect stakeholders in the company, although these scams surely affect the perception and name of Atlantic Records.
My solution for Atlantic Records would to be transparent, try to eliminate fake emails with your record labels name in it, and eliminate fake accounts/people that are posing as record label employees. Record labels may want to take a step back. Contacting via email is great, but taking the communication a step further with a Skype call, phone call, or video call is the way to transparency. Record Labels should carry themselves with honesty and integrity and when scams come up like this, they should respond immediately because the musicians are one of the keys to the puzzle of the music industry.