midemblog: Who needs labels, now artists have all the tools they need to do everything themselves?
Ville Leppanen: Artists need labels because they can’t do it all themselves and they need good people in labels to help them with artistic development, as well. Teamwork is much more fun than trying to be an island.
> How has your label’s role evolved in recent years, notably with regards to social media artist engagement?
We’ve become a lot more focused on social media in the last few years at The Animal Farm, so in that sense it’s a brand new role for us to help our artists engage with their fans, wherever we can.
We’re developing stories and trying to help sequence communications so that the stories’ narratives make sense.
We have weekly meetings where we go through what’s going on with each act, where we can help them do stuff, where we can suggest stuff for them to do etc.
> What direct-to-fan tactics does your label use? What proportion of your team is dedicated to such activities?
We are a management-led company, so everything we do we consider to be direct to fan. All ten of us are doing it.
> Can you share an example of one of your artist’s social media success translating into commercial success?
Two of our artists — Blue Origin and The Manic Shine — raised successful crowdfunding campaigns for their album projects this year. They were purely social media-driven.
> How important is midem for discovering new ways your artists can engage with their fans?
We hope to find a new idea in every room, in every gathering. midem, like all such events, provides great opportunities to stop talking and start listening! 😉
> How did your last midem go overall?
We hadn’t been to midem for three years, but we decided to go last January with three finished albums we wanted deals for. We got sync, publishing or label deals for all of them; we attracted production and song writing business for our writer/producers; and we found new artists (writers/producers) to come and work with is in London. The trip was far more successful than we expected; it more than paid for itself.
This is the latest in a series about the evolving role of labels in the DIY artist era. Check out all of our “Who needs labels” interviews here.
Register for midem 2013 here.