The music industry bible – the unsigned guide

Launching a career in the music business? Need a manager? Want to distribute your latest LP? Look no further, The Unsigned Guide is here. This online directory connects upcoming singers to an array of vital information and tools including managers, creative and branding support, legal documents and much more. Editor Louise Dodgson talks to iSing Assistant Editor Gemma Wilson about the music ‘bible’ and reveals how singers and artists can benefit from membership.

iSing: What is the Unsigned Guide?

Louise Dobson: The Unsigned Guide is an online music industry directory used by independent bands, musicians, artist managers & music students. The directory lists list over 8,700 UK music contacts across the industry ranging from record label A&R, music publishers, PR companies, recording studios, artist managers to radio stations, venues, gig
promoters, festivals and music distribution.

iSing: How can it help a budding singer?

LB: If you’re making music, there are thousands of contacts in there you can send your
music onto – whether you’re hoping to get a record deal, or want to promote yourself via radio airplay, music blogs, local and national press, or if you want to book yourself some gigs both locally or beyond, or are interested in festival slots, there are contacts for all these areas, plus loads more. We cover 50 areas of the industry in all, here’s a full list of everything featured in the directory: http://www.theunsignedguide.com/tour

iSing: What services do you offer?

LB: As well as the music directory, our members are also encouraged to send us a track a month for consideration for our Spotlight blog. This monthly blog allows us to champion the 5 best songs from our members, and as well as being promoted on our site and across our social media, we also send the blog & tracks onto a select list of 40+ music industry professionals who guarantee to listen to our selections.

Our service also includes lots of advice for emerging acts who are trying to get to grips with the music industry; we regularly have blog posts and articles from the likes of the Musicians’ Union, AIM, PRS For Music and loads more organisations and other experts in their fields who can shed light on the inner workings of the music business.

“THE UNSIGNED GUIDE HAS BECOME THE MUST HAVE FOR ANYONE STARTING OUT IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.”

iSing: How is the Unsigned Guide different to other similar services out there?
LB: There aren’t too many other music industry directories around, but others such as the Music Week directory are aimed exclusively at industry professionals so they will list large scale tour promoters or arena and stadium venues around the UK.
Obviously, these type of contacts are just not relevant to emerging bands & artists so our directory is aimed specifically at this level and contains a great level of detail about each company/individual listed so our users have a good overview of the services each contact offers & how they can help them.

iSing: Tell us about the team behind the Unsigned Guide

LB: The team is very small, there are only 3 of us. Our director Stef Loukes came up with the idea for The Unsigned Guide and this launched in 2003. I joined the team shortly in 2004 and we have another member who concentrates on keeping the listings in our directory up to date and finding fresh content in the way of new businesses and individuals to add to the directory, so it is as comprehensive as possible.

iSing: What role do you play?

LB: I’m the Editor and General Manager so my role encompasses a wide variety of tasks.
Everything from dealing with customer enquiries, posting news and informative blogs on our site, compiling our Spotlight blog, managing our social media accounts, checking & signing off on listings for the directory, approving changes to the website, and just generally finding ways to spread the word and keep moving The
Unsigned Guide forward.

iSing: How much does it cost?

LB: We have a few subscription options for The Unsigned Guide, making it affordable and flexible. Monthly subscriptions are £4.99, quarterly £9.99 and annually £29.99.
There is no tie-in so you can sign up for a monthly subscription and cancel straight away if you only want to pay for 1 month’s access.

iSing: Are there any offers?

LB: We do run offers from time to time, so keep an eye on our website, Twitter &
Facebook. However, we’re more than happy to offer a discount to iSing Magazine readers – save 30% on an annual subscription to The Unsigned Guide (making the price £20.99 rather than £29.99), just use discount code TUG30S at checkout here: members.theunsignedguide.com/signup

“A WEIGHTY, EXTENSIVE RESOURCE THAT NO INDEPENDENT MUSICIAN, BAND OR LABEL SHOULD BE WITHOUT.”

iSing: How can singers/ musicians get in touch with the Unsigned Guide?

LB: You can email me at louise@theunsignedguide.com or submit the Contact Form on our website here: www.members.theunsignedguide.com/contactus

iSing: What’s next for the company?

LB: Just to keep maintaining the standard of the directory content, and keep it growing
& growing with more contacts & more blogs providing advice and support for unsigned artists and bands.

Article By: Gemma Wilson


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