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Artist and Repertoire Workers


Talent scouts first became important to the recording industry in the 1950s, when pop and rock artists dominated the radio. For the first time in the country's history, teenagers were taken seriously as a consumer group, and their musical preferences made the small, independent companies that produced rock and roll records hugely successful. In the 1960s, record companies employed people who would match the professional musicians (artists) with songs (repertoire) written by professional composers. After a period of poor sales in the 1970s, record companies bounced back in the 1980s with the advent of the music video. During this new era of big business, A&R executives became even more powerful in the entertainment industry. Record companies relied on A&R professionals to sign and promote artists who had potential for huge sales quickly. Though record companies increasingly rely on major, break-out performers to generate large profits, A&R workers are still needed to develop a diverse group of artists that can bring their companies stable long-term returns on their investment.

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