Music talent scout

 22 March 2011

A music talent scout is responsible for bringing new talent into an organisation. The talent could include actors, models or musicians. Within the music industry talent scouts are usually grouped under “Artists and Repertoire (A&R)”.

Talent scouts may be employed by record companies, music publishers, modelling or casting agencies, sometimes on a freelance basis. Modelling and acting schools sometimes employ talent scouts. They also work independently. The aim of the job is to find new talent who can generate income for the client.

The work is very diverse and may include:

  • Seeking out and identifying new talent – where it may not always be obvious, using the scout’s own network of connections and expertise
  • Using a variety of means to identify new talent - increasingly making use of the internet, blogs and social networking sites
  • Visiting venues to observe people in action, which could include gigs, concerts, fashion shows and theatres
  • Organising community events such as talent competitions or modelling shows, sometimes in collaboration with magazines, radio or TV
  • Watching showreels and videos and listening to demos/recordings of potential new talent
  • Finding talent with particular attributes, e.g. for modelling agencies
  • Helping new talent to become established by marketing and promotion
  • Ensuring legislation on working conditions and hours is abided by, particularly when recruiting children
  • Keeping up-to-date with changing trends in the sector or genre
  • Networking with a wide range of individuals which might include actors, producers, models, broadcasters and photographers
  • Initial negotiations with their clients to find the best financial deals
  • Being involved with the on-going development and training of the artist
  • Some talent scouts work either with adults or children, whilst others work with both.

Talent scouts often travel widely in their work, and often work irregular hours including much time during the evenings and at weekends.


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