2 key reasons record labels want to receive demos in private mode

Tags: A&R, A&R Rep

I always thought that a record label would just introduce my tracks to a bigger audience and so it should not matter much that I already posted a track online to my very limited audience.

But by talking to various labels we found that the vast majority of them actually only want to receive private demo tracks and often will not consider tracks with more than a few plays on them already.

The two key reasons for this lay mostly in the psychology behind finding and releasing tracks:

1. Exclusivity creates desire
Just like with many other things (dating, investing, choosing teams etc) people like to feel special and chosen. And nobody wants to be the last one chosen, right?

A&Rs at record labels like to feel that you have not shopped the track around to everybody and that you specifically choose them to release a track with. Seeing a bunch of plays without having released the track with another label, could also be an indicator that the track is maybe not that great. Ideally A&Rs would decide based solely on their own opinion, but in reality psychology plays a major roll in most decision people make.

2. Momentum and engagement are crucial
The other reason why labels like to release previously unpublished tracks is that they need your existing audience as well to push the track at the right time. If a label signs your track and your audience (even if it is not that big) has already seen it posted, they will probably not get that much behind you and the release to push it when it is officially released.

Keep in mind that most record labels are relatively small and they need to build some special momentum around a track together with you the artist to really have it move the needle.

So should you not post any tracks online? And how do you keep your current audience engaged?

You definitely should have tracks publicly online, not only to start growing your existing audience, but also to show that you have been around and have more than 1 or 2 tracks to offer.

You can keep your audience engaged by:

  1. Posting those tracks that you have sent out but do not get any feedback on from labels. Maybe they are just not right for a label at that time, but your audience might love them and push them forward
  2. Posting snippets/previews of things you are working on to start building up interest and to ask artists or mixing engineers for feedback on OTGS
  3. Self-release/publish tracks that are maybe not your best work but still have a lot of potential. You never know what happens with them.

This is a great way to create a constant flow of “official” releases and other work which will help build your audience and make your current fans as happy as they can be!


You can set your tracks on OTGS to “Private” by selecting that Audio Type when adding or editing a track.

Record Labels on the site will see the track in their recommendations of available tracks and you can send the track link for others to see in private. The track will not be shown anywhere else on our platform, while in private mode.

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