VP Creative, Downtown Music Publishing
Cliff Audretch began his career in 1995 at E-Squared Records, a joint-venture with Warner Bros, where he was Director/A&R working alongside Steve Earle and Jack Emerson. Highlights included the release of Grammy-nominated “Train A Comin” and critically acclaimed “I Feel Alright” albums from Steve Earle.
In 1997, Cliff moved over to Windswept Publishing. As Sr. Dir/Creative, was responsible for pitching songs, producing demos, signing and developing writers and artist/writers. His stint included over 50 BMI/ASCAP “Most Performed Songs” Awards including multiple #1’s, “What Hurts The Most”–Rascal Flatts, “The Cowboy In Me”–Tim McGraw, “HonkyTonk Badonkadonk”–Trace Adkins, to name a few. Cliff also signed and developed writer/artist Randy Houser while at Windswept.
In 2007, Universal South Records tapped Cliff to be the Sr.Dir/A&R. While at Universal South signed Randy Houser, and co-produced his debut album which featured Top 20 hit “Anything Goes” and #2 “Boots On”. Cliff was also responsible for delivering Top 10 “Always The Love Songs” and #1 “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” for the Eli Young Band.
In 2011 Universal South merged with Toby Keith’s Showdog Records, creating the imprint Showdog-Universal Records. As Sr. Dir/A&R, Cliff signed Josh Thompson and co-produced his album “Turn It Up”, which featured the hit “Cold Beer With Your Name On It”. Was also responsible for delivering #1 “Gimme That Girl” for Joe Nichols.
In 2013 Cliff launched Greatshakin’ Music and in conjunction with Warner Chappell Publishing signed Michael Hobby, lead singer of the band A Thousand Horses. Developed and secured management for the band, leading to a record deal at Republic Records in 2014. The band’s debut single, “Smoke” went to #1 in just 19 weeks, peaking in June of 2015.
Now Cliff is the VP of Creative at Downtown Music Publishing and is responsible for scouting, developing and signing new artists, songwriters and producers as well as creating opportunities for Downtown Clients and copyrights in the global marketplace.
Sign Up For This Event
$30 per song GSC member
Have you ever thought: “Wow I think I have a really good song. If only I could get a legitimate publisher to listen?”
Through GSC’s affordable Publisher Online Pitch service you can have your song or songs heard by a reputable publisher from wherever in the world you live and without the expensive cost of travel.
One of the most important elements of this service is that you will be connecting with a publisher, creating a relationship with this publisher and learning the pitching process professional songwriters utilize every day.
Here are the details!
At GSC we always want you to know the real journey of a song from the pen to the publisher. With that in mind we want you to be aware of these facts.
1. Paying to Pitch a Song: GSC wants you to know that professional songwriters do not pay to have their songs heard by a publisher. Professional songwriters have worked years at developing their songwriting craft and earning the respect of the publishing community which earns them the opportunity to have their songs heard.
2. The Demo: GSC wants you to know…If you had a publishing deal and was a staff writer for the featured publisher, this publisher would hear your songs every day in their most simple form of a guitar vocal or keyboard vocal. If you were pitching your songs to a producer, artist, manager etc then you will need fully produced and well produced demo’s for these types of pitches.
3. The Listening Process: GSC wants you to know…Often, when a publisher is listening for songs for a project or artist, they can usually tell if it is a song they would be interested in for that project in less than 30 seconds. Through the POP event the publisher will be listening through the first verse and chorus in its entirety. However, in the future should you pitch a song to a publisher in their office and they turn your song off after only the first half of the first verse, we want you to know that is a normal part of the process.
4. Pitch Ready Songs: The reality is that some of your songs may not be ready for pitching to a publisher. However, there is much to be learned through the pitching process. Please consider a song evaluation session before pitching a song.
5. The Follow Up: If the publisher should take your song for consideration, we will be excited with you and it does happen! Below is the GSC recommended follow up process. Correct follow up is essential for success.
a. If your song is taken by the publisher you will be provided with the publishers contact email address for follow up.
b. If you do not hear from the publisher within 5 to 7 business days of them taking your song. We recommend you email the publisher, thank them for participating in the GSC POP program, thank them for their interest in your song and list the TITLE of the song as a reminder and ask if they should need anything further.
c. If you do not hear from the publisher within three weeks, make a phone call to the publisher office. You will most likely be leaving a message. If so, just leave your name, contact number and that you are following up on your song and list the title.
d. If the publisher does not return your call, do not call again. Simply send a physical thank you card, thanking them for their interest, recognizing that they are a busy industry professional and that you hope to have the opportunity to play them more songs in the future.
At GSC we know it would be disappointing to have your song taken by a publisher and then not hear from them. Unfortunately, this process is part of the song pitching process. Thoughtful and professional follow up is essential to success and is appreciated by busy, overworked publishers. They won’t forget your professionalism. Sometimes you may not hear from the publisher who took your song for months and then out of the blue, when they are ready and working on the project, you get the call. Many times I have kept a member’s song for over a year and then gave them a call for the just right opportunity. Songs will often be pitched over and over again for years before they land on just the right project.