I've heard A&R's and directors before say, "I won't consider any artist who has less social media followers than me."
Some would say that's an unfair standard, but they have a point.
If your music is good, then it should already have a good size fan base behind it. Executives like seeing that an artist is all in.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard an artist think they don't have to pay for promotion just because their music is good... What world do they live in?
If you make the best food in the world, Wal-Mart is still going to charge you for shelf space. That's the way things work.
The quicker an artist realizes that, the better.
If you make great music and still don't have a large enough following start investing in some music promotion.