On October 26, 2019 I interviewed Tom Callahan, who called from Boulder, Colorado on Social Music Talk. We discussed his various roles in the music industry from managing to promoting artists and running his own record label. He is currently a media and music industry consultant and manager of Kalie Goh. Labels he's worked for include Enigma, I.R.S. and Virgin. Tom talked about working directly with music industry legends Miles Copeland, who owned I.R.S., and Virgin founder Richard Branson. He explains the current state of the music industry and how it favors branding rather than chasing radio.
Tom balances consulting artists with projects for professionals of other industries and ties principles of success to martial arts philosophies. When he ran his small label called Coyote Records he was an early promoter of the Adult Album Alternative (AAA) format in the early 90s. He says "the original intention of the format was beautiful," as it was about helping independent artists. But then it became too much of a mainstream format and lost its organic feel.
He cites the Telecom Act of 1996 as a turning point for radio shifting from a community-based to a corporate-based medium. The result has been tighter radio playlists and less opportunities for indie artists. He says indie artists should forget about radio and concentrate on social media. He points to how many new doors have opened for independent artists to get their music heard online. Technology essentially is allowing indie artists to run their own businesses by providing tools that were not available last century. Tom discusses the different ways artists can make a living by developing various revenue streams.
Social Music Talk with Tom Callahan Part 1
Social Music Talk with Tom Callahan Part 2
Social Music Talk with Tom Callahan Part 3
Social Music Talk with Tom Callahan Part 4
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