Over the past few years, there has been talk that the Internet’s ability to discover and break new artists has made the job of traditional major label A&R obsolete. The numbers indicate otherwise. While labels are still figuring out how to best adapt to the changing environment, it’s clear that they are still powerful, influential, and backed with not only money, but manpower.
In 2012, major labels hired 55 new A&Rs and fired only 27. The number of hires is higher than the previous two years, and the number of fires is lower. Conclusion: the position of major label A&R isn’t obsolete—at least, not yet.