Owner Follow-Up Interview
with Jeff Cloud of Velvet Blue Music
Name: Jeff Cloud
Label: Velvet Blue Music
City: Huntington Beach, CA
Artists Roster: Doug Burr, Telegraph Canyon, Mike Sempert, Kissing Cousins, Soft Lions, The Prids, Air Review, Frank Lenz, Bethan.
Websites: velvetbluemusic.com, Facebook.com/velvetbluemusic, twitter.com/velvetbluemusic
Original Label Owner Interview with QRD
QRD – Any major changes to the label or your general outlook on running a label since last time?
Jeff – Don’t think so. Just trying to support good music & good people, while being able to pay all my own bills!
QRD – How do you feel labels are more & less useful to artists now than they were five years ago?
Jeff – I think the basic ideas are still there. Bands make music & play shows, they usually aren’t so good with booking, radio, pr, accounting, deadlines, etc.
QRD – There are a lot less record stores than their used to be. How has that effected your model for releasing music?
Jeff – We do sell a lot less physical copies now as opposed to digital, but the physical format isn’t dead yet.
QRD – Spotify has become an undeniable force that has reduced download sales while (allegedly) fighting piracy. In the end what is good or bad about it for you as a label & do you embrace it?
Jeff – I don’t know the answer to that & I basically have to embrace it, if I don’t my artists won’t appear on Spotify & obviously it’s an important platform.
QRD – Most labels are making a bit less money than they were a few years ago. What have you done to lower expenses or find new sources of revenue?
Jeff – We actually don’t have this problem right now. Our sales have been better than ever, but we are now spending a lot more per release to make this happen, so I guess we’ve probably just stayed in scale.
QRD – What social networks are you active on & what ones aren’t worth the time & energy to you?
Jeff – We do Facebook, Twitter, & Google Plus…. I’d do more, but it’s already a lot to keep up with. & yes, I know it’s semi-crazy we don’t do Instagram.
QRD – With the rise of social networks & trusted download shops, has your own website become less important than it was a few years ago?
Jeff – No, I think it still serves as a home base & official place for people to read about the bands, listen to, & purchase music.
QRD – Do you think fan funding (e.g. Kickstarter) is the future, a fad, or an awful thing for the music industry?
Jeff – My daddy told me to beg only if absolutely necessary. I feel like there is a LOT of unnecessary begging going on.
QRD – What’s something you leave up to bands to do rather than handling as a label?
Jeff – It all depends on the band. Artwork lately seems to be more in the band’s hands.
QRD – Do you see albums, EPs, or singles more relevant than a few years ago or pretty much in the same place?
Jeff – Socially speaking the single is much more important now, but it’s very hard to stay in business with singles! Plus I’m old school; I appreciate a nice long player.
QRD – Do you have separate release dates for different formats (CD, vinyl, digital download, streaming)?
Jeff – We go with the same release date for all formats, we usually preview a track or two streaming somewhere before the release date, for fun.
QRD – Anything else?
Jeff – Yes, sorry this took me so long! It’s Easter morning right now, so Happy Easter! &, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has & continues to support us, it is very much appreciated.