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Type of site
|Music database, webzine|
|Launched||September 20, 1999|
HitQuarters was an international music industry publication and contact database founded in 1999. It was noted for its in-depth interviews with industry figures, as well as its A&R and manager contact directory, free artist promo pages and song sale facility, demo reviews and A&R chart,[dead link] and was the sister site to the songwriting tip sheet SongQuarters. The site was sporadically active from May 2017 up until September 20, 2020, and no posts have been made on its Twitter and Facebook accounts since March and May 2015 respectively.
Focus on aiding unsigned and independent artists
The website had a strong focus on offering unsigned and independent artists, songwriters and producers with tools to help develop their music careers, whether through attracting the attentions of record label A&R and management, pitching songs and tracks, releasing and marketing music independently, or just learning more about how the music industry works.
To this aim the website featured an extensive contact database known as HitTracker, where users could find contact information for A&R, publishers, managers, producers and songwriters based on their track records, a news bulletin service, free artist promo pages, demo review feature judged by A&Rs, producers and managers, and an archive of several hundred interviews with industry figures that were geared towards offering constructive career advice and industry know-how.
Interviews and features
One of HitQuarters' most prominent features was its weekly in-depth interviews with major industry figures such as A&Rs, producers, managers, songwriters, promoters and publishers. Interviewees included pop impresario and entertainment mogul Simon Cowell, industry executives and A&R Martin Kierszenbaum, Mike Caren, Jason Flom, Peter Edge, Chris Hicks, Richard Russell, Miles Leonard and Ron Fair, managers Jonathan Dickins, Dumi, Louis Walsh and Eric Härle, songwriters Diane Warren, Wayne Hector, Rami Yacoub and Andreas Carlsson, producers RedOne, Chris Braide, Steve Mac, JR Rotem, Richard X and Phil Ek, and songwriter, producer and A&R Linda Perry.
The website also ran a regular demo review feature where a changing panel of industry experts reviewed songs uploaded to the site by unsigned artists, assessing their hit potential and offering advice on how the tracks can be improved. Judges included Visible Noise CEO Julie Weir, and producers Colin Richardson and Eddie Galan and producer and publisher Steve "Blast" Wills.
HitQuarters founded the world's first A&R chart that measured the success of individual A&R representatives based on points accumulated from their respective artists' chart success. Most notably, 2004 saw Wind-Up Records' Diana Meltzer become the first woman to top HitQuarters' World Top 100 A&R Chart,[dead link] a considerable achievement in what is traditionally a male dominated field. Previous number 1s included Clive Davis, Tommy Mottola, Dr. Dre, and Mark Williams.
HitQuarters was a companion site to SongQuarters, an online tip sheet for "songwriting leads to major and developing artists". It shares the same contact directory as HitQuarters and its members automatically had access to the HitQuarters site. It was also a subscription-based service with 7-day trials available for those wanting to try it out first. The songwriting leads were split into three categories according to the level of the artist they relate to: 'Top 500', 'Newly Signed and Developing' and 'Unsigned and Up-and-coming'.
- "HitQuarters.com WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
- "A&R Star Makers: The Vanishing Gatekeepers", LA Weekly, 11 February 2010.
- "Demo Directions", Sound On Sound, November 2000.
- "Women in music industry...kind of" Archived 2009-11-28 at the Wayback Machine, Feministing.com, 12 April 2004.
- , Billboard, 19 Jul 2003.
- Where are the female A&Rs?, The Guardian, 23 July 2009.