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Brian McTernan, who is repped by AAM's Andy Kipnes and Mark Beaven, is one of several producers deeply involved in discovering and developing unsigned talent to have awakened the interest of the major labels of late.
WHEELS & DEALS SPECIAL:
COOL TO BE INDIE
Indie Producers Now Getting Much Love From Majors Looking to Cut Artist-Development Deals
Given the current climate, with labels open to structuring new and cost-effective artist-development deals with "farm club"-type entities, one hot indie producer is currently feeling the love from several majors. They’re coming at him with offers of a label deal/A&R resource arrangement.

Yes, Brian McTernan, who has produced tracks for numerous hot indie acts, including the hugely buzzin’ Thrice (the center of an intense bidding derby earlier this year), is getting’ his talk on with the likes of Island Def Jam, Epic, Atlantic, Virgin, Capitol and Warner Bros. as you read this.

McTernan, who is repped by AAM’s Andy Kipnes and Mark Beaven, is one of several producers deeply involved in discovering and developing unsigned talent to have awakened the interest of the major labels of late.

Insiders close to the deal say that, given the escalating costs of signing buzz bands, relationships with producers like McTernan are cost-effective.

After all, such alliances offer labels the inside track on future acts on the producer’s roster, ultimately saving dough.

Another recently completed label deal: Atlantic’s partnership with indie-lifestyle magazine Vice. The pages of Vice mix fresh fashion, music, art and game features with straight-up, street-level commentary on current events and city life.

The new Vice label and staff, which were brought in by Atlantic Prexy Craig Kallman and A&R hitta Mike Caren, will operate as an independent, radical imprint tasked with organic talent development. Atlantic will throw in its support as necessary.

Insiders in the loop on this one say the arrangement will be a testing ground for a new model. Furthermore, they say, it testifies to the majors’ willingness to embrace the independent sector as a vital partner in developing and breaking new artists.

Will similar development-oriented deals bust out in the near future? And with more deals being made, will major-label A&R gigs become fewer and more about scouting and product management, rather than making records, as many believe?

Will a much-rumored power shift atop one major label put even more A&R reps on the streets? Much talk swirling as to who will be running said major.

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