Most people know how radio stations, magazines, or video shows can affect the presence of an artist in a market. But, one of the industry's well-kept secrets is that record pools and cd pools often have more of an initial impact than the popular musical outlets. So what is a record pool and what makes it so important?
A record pool is a organization of disc jockeys (DJs) who pay a monthly membership fee in order to attain the newest music first. Quite often before a song/artist reaches the radio stations and record stores, record pools get the product to distribute to the DJs. The DJs in turn, break the music in the streets, clubs, mix tapes, mix cds and radio. Because of their direct connection to the streets, DJs have the power to either make or break a project. As Marlo Martin, the East Coast Mixshow Manager of Arista Records attests, "record pools are very helpful in breaking records. Not every DJ can be added to record label mailing lists. Pools are an effective way for djs to get records and information and to meet fellow jocks and label reps." The difference between a hit and a flop is almost always a direct relationship based on how much the DJ likes the record.
Once the public has heard and reacted to the new song, the DJ reports back to his record pool. Good or bad, this reaction is what the labels live for. With this information, they can see on paper where in the world people feel their music. Now, they can more positively direct their attention to individual markets, making for an efficient and more cost effective campaign.
A record pool can be judged on the following criteria: number of members, where the members spin, control of a market, reporting reliability, label servicing. All of these criteria combined equal the ability to break records. Essentially, that is what a record pool's purpose is. If a pool cannot break a record efficiently and effectively, there is no need to even consider that pool for servicing
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