President Bridge Road Entertainment
Together with his wife Anna, David operates White Lake Music and Bridge Road Entertainment, an artist co-owned record label and label services company.
What are you working on today?
This week we’re balancing advancing shows and touring with radio and promo visit scheduling. Of course this fell right in the middle of beginning work with a terrific new PR firm, so we’re busy getting everyone up to speed on history and the new record.
What are the downsides in the industry today?
Spotify. In my career, Spotify is the single most detrimental thing that has happened in the music industry. It has transitioned otherwise intelligent and skilled curators and decision makers to a metric-driven mindset. Instead of listening, they look. From talent buyers to label executives, comments like “I took a look at the artist" have replaced “I took a listen to the artist” or “I went to see the artist perform.” Worsening the problem is that numbers showcased on streaming platforms are regularly artificially inflated, creating an often unattainable metric. Many brilliant, talented, and experienced music professionals are abandoning their years of taste making experience in favor of looking at numbers that are routinely a false representation of the quality or potential of the artist.
What’s some positives you can share with a new artist?
Well, there are many. Firstly, making music is an incredible pleasure. Never lose sight of that. From a business and success standpoint, there has never been a time in history where artists have been more able to affect their own success. There are tangible things any artist can do daily to continually move the needle and see real growth. I think many become too focused on what they are “not” immediately achieving versus taking stock in areas that are growing for them.
You can’t do it all… but everyone will want you to. From Spotify presaves, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, multiple video platforms, etc., etc., etc., keeping pace with trends and platforms is unforgiving. And no matter how much you try, there will always be someone telling you it’s not enough. Always remember that the most important piece of the puzzle is to create great music. Don’t compromise that in favor of keeping pace with trends. Always be authentic, always try to love the result (even if the process becomes difficult), and remember… no one anywhere is better at being you.
In a world inundated with digital platforms, why has radio remained important in your artist growth strategy?
We don’t ignore digital or social platforms. But radio has a unique ability to connect an artist to a real community. It's curated by people who not only know music, but who know their community. As a result, radio puts people in seats at shows and offers a conduit for long-term fan relationship-building and growth. And radio truly listens. That’s the difference for artists who strive to create their best music... for artists who want careers and the ability to return to a community time and time again and build fans, there is NOTHING more powerful than radio.