How Does A&R Make Money| Unspoken Ways & Salary

How Does A&R Make Money Unspoken Ways & Salary
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If you want to work in the music industry, think about working in the A&R department. You might be thinking, what do they do, and How Do A&R Make Money? This article will help with that. 

However, for musicians and producers, an A&R coordinator, or artist and repertoire coordinator, serves as a talent scout. They search for emerging performers who have a chance to succeed in their respective genres. 

In this post, we go over the question, ‘How Do A&R Make Money?’

Also, we define the position, and describe the responsibilities and compensation. Keep reading to learn, unlearn and relearn.

What is A&R?

A&R, or artists and repertoire, is a department inside a record label or music publishing business. It is responsible for discovering new recording artists (singers, instrumentalists, bands, etc.) and composers. It is also in charge of managing their artistic growth. 

Furthermore, every activity involving artists up until the moment of album release is typically regarded as falling under the duty of A&R. It also serves as a liaison between musicians and the record label or publishing firm.

Knowing what A&R is important. It makes it easier to understand the query, ‘How Do A&R Make Money’.

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What Do They Do?

A&R reps nowadays may play a range of functions in the music business. Depending on how their label is operated and their position in management.

However, before you get to the, ‘How Do A&R Make Money?’ section, you must know what they do.   

Below are some of the things A&R reps or coordinators do;

Developing talent 

Finding new recording artists and introducing them to the record label are the responsibilities of the A&R department. 

Also, A&R staff may attend live performances by up-and-coming bands at nightclubs and festivals to look for talent. People working in the A&R sector should be able to identify musicians who will be commercially successful. Not just successful but also familiar with the market’s current tastes. 

However, because of this, A&R personnel are frequently young and frequently musicians, music critics, or record producers.

The control of the recording process

The A&R department of a record label controls the music genre and recording procedure. 

This includes assisting the artist in selecting the ideal record producer and also, booking time in a recording studio and guiding every facet of producing a top-notch recording. 

Additionally, they choose the greatest songs (i.e., repertoire) to record in collaboration with the artist. The A&R representative will help musicians who don’t write their music identify songs, songwriters, and arrangers. 

However, A&R staff will assist in locating session musicians for the recording. A&R executives stay in touch with their colleagues in music publishing businesses. This is done to obtain new songs and content from producers and songwriters. 

Helping with advertising and promotion 

When the album is finished, the A&R department chooses one or more singles to help promote it. Mostly this is done after consulting with marketing, promotion, the artist, and their management.

Pros And Cons of Being an A&R Rep

We know you are so eager to check out, ‘how do A&R make money’. But you must check out the pros and drawbacks associated with it.

First, it’s part of your work to check out new music and concerts, and you might even get paid! 

Also, you have the satisfaction of being the first to hear about new performers, and you can influence an artist’s career. You get to hear a ton of brand-new music. And if all goes according to plan, it might be a very rewarding job. 

However, even though going out to see bands every night sounds fun, it can grow monotonous. It might also frustrate you. 

Furthermore, you might find a wonderful band. But you’ll need to convince your manager, the head of A&R, and eventually whoever controls the money. You’ll need to convince them that they’re not just great, but also a wise investment. 

Also, you’ll learn that you don’t have much say in signing the musicians you like. A&R personnel can also be divided into two groups: 

  • Those who are seen as not giving artists what they need and 
  •  Those who are seen as “someone who wakes up late in the day, listen to lots of music, goes to clubs, spends his time with artists” by the rest of the label. 

What A&R Coordinators Are Likely to get paid

You’ll be fortunate at first to receive expenses. 

However, as soon as news spreads that you are an A&R scout, your mailbox will overflow. Your mail will overflow with CDs, MP3s, and invitations to every local band’s night. An A&R manager is only as good as their previous signing. 

Therefore, if you manage to land a job at a label, you can earn a respectable income. Depending on your employer, it can be between $30,000 and $100,000. 

However, if you don’t sign a successful act, you might soon seek employment elsewhere.

This doesn’t answer the,’how do A&R make money’ question but answers the, ‘how much does A&R rep make”.

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How Do A&R Make Money

There is no exclusive path to make money in A&R. Individuals who are granted opportunities typically have prior expertise in other facets of the music business. 

However, those who have networked with professionals in the field will discover their chances of earning much are significantly higher. 

Once more, it’s all about your network and not necessarily your knowledge.

Here are the ways A&R make money;

Use any musical background you may have 

Gaining entry into A&R is notoriously difficult. And those who are committed to succeeding must demonstrate their extensive musical knowledge in order even to be granted an interview. 

A&R representatives often have performance backgrounds. But some also have training in business or marketing and still have a passion for good music. 

Furthermore, A&R reps should ideally be risk-takers with a wide range of musical preferences. Finding a musician just as they are starting to become truly successful is the key. 

Additionally, showing off any prior musical experience is the best way to break into A&R. A good place to start is by making contacts, going to shows, and getting involved in your community’s music activities. 

Attend local events and network 

A&R reps can learn about what bands and musicians an audience likes by attending performances at their local music events. Networking is a huge part of the music business. When thinking,”How do A&R make money”, think ‘networking’.

This knowledge is essential because a successful A&R employee will know what will sell. 

A&R reps must be able to market and persuade colleagues that a particular musical act is worthwhile to support. It is a big part of the job. 

Other Ways A&R Make Money

Below are the other ways A&R reps make money;

Open a music website 

Everything in today’s world is online. 

Therefore, blogging frequently about the musicians you have seen in your town is the best way to demonstrate a passionate, engaged interest in local, live music. 

However, even though it borders on music journalism, starting a music website would draw in new artists. These artists might invite you to concerts and ask your opinion on their music.

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Do It Yourself 

The above ways may not be feasible for you. If you are still thinking,”how do A&R make money”, then the best way is to do it yourself.

Of course, if you want complete freedom to sign anybody, you can always start your own label. That way, no one will be watching your every move and dictating who you can and cannot sign. 

But you’ll also need to manage every other area of the label, including publicity and marketing, generating money, and setting up distribution. But if you do it well, you can find yourself hiring your scouts.

What are the Job Opportunities Available

At big labels, A&R is divided into three levels. 

First, the A&R scouts are at the lowest level. They attend concerts, listen to demos, and discover new musicians through their contacts and the media. The scout will refer a band to an A&R Manager if they fit the label’s roster. 

Second, the choice of whether to sign an artist and the terms of the contract will be made by the A&R manager. The manager’s responsibility is to expose the artist to the PR and promotions staff. This is done in order to generate interest among the label’s other departments in that talent. 

Third, the label’s overarching philosophy will be established by the head of A&R. They may also participate in decisions about well-known or up-and-coming artists. 

Unfortunately, as is true for most of the music industry, networking is the key to landing a paid position. Working as an intern for free is among the best ways to make contacts. Due to the rarity of job postings for A&R scouts, this is particularly crucial. 

Furthermore, an unpaid opportunity to work as a scout is the customary first step on the way to an A&R position. You might have your expenditures covered, but you won’t be paid. 

However, you now have the chance—but not the guarantee—of joining the payroll when a position opens up. 

Generally, contact with emerging artists is crucial. To increase your chances of landing your desired position. Many A&R scouts establish minor labels, publish zines, manage bands, or promote clubs and band nights. 

Also, they gain access to relationships in the small-scale music sector that record labels are eager to use.

How to become a coordinator for A&R 

Consider doing the following actions if you want to work in the A&R industry: 

Focus on education 

Consider attending college to acquire a degree in communication, marketing, administration, or the music industry. These programs could give you various theoretical and practical skills to help you succeed in the field. 

However, it may be preferable to pick a subject of study that will help you in the music business. 

A master’s degree, for example, may not be required for some positions. But it can be a valuable asset that sets you apart from other applicants. 

Participate in the sector 

Participating in the music industry in whatever way you can is crucial because it can be fiercely competitive. To gain experience in your specialized field, consider doing an internship for a record label or producer. 

Also, attending concerts or other music-related events might help you network professionally by introducing you to people in your field. 

Furthermore, knowing other people who work in the music business is likely helpful to you in learning more, especially about how to enter the area or find a potential career opportunity. 

Perform research 

Learning about a label’s background and corporate policies is beneficial before you start working with them. You might pick up useful knowledge that enables you to choose where you’d like to work in a well-informed manner.

Additionally, consider researching to learn more about the subject or choose the artists or genres most appealing to you. 

Write a resume 

Having a thorough and compelling CV is crucial when you start searching for jobs. Demonstrate to the hiring manager that you have the abilities and qualifications required for the position. You could edit each application to meet the relevant job description best.

See also: How Much Does YouTube Pay You for 1 Million Views?


Hope you’ve seen all there is to the ‘how do A&R make money’ query. Now that you’ve learned, unlearned, and relearned about A&R representatives, why not give it a try?

FAQs on How Does A&R Make Money| Unspoken Ways & Salary

Is A&R a good job?

The national average salary for someone working in A&R, or talent acquisition, is $46,730 annually. However, these professionals may earn more if the artists they sign succeed significantly.

Is A&R still relevant?

A&R is still alive and one of the most coveted positions in the music industry. Many labels are still investing heavily in the position. And A&R still plays a role in finding talent that deserves a record deal.

Do A&Rs get royalties?

In big label deals, artists and repertoire strategists identify new talent to sign and get a few percentage points off record sales. 
However, A&R personnel are only one of the royalty earners for locating talent. However, apart from royalties, A&R still gets paid handsomely for finding promising talent.



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