Author Topic: The state of Record Labels and their influence in music distribution.  (Read 982 times)

So we have all heard how Record Labels are no longer the game leaders when it comes to music distribution.
One reason for this is the digital realm, iTunes, Spotify and other outlets such as Bandcamp and even Soundcloud.

You do not need to be signed to get your music heard anymore.. but is that really a true statement?
There is something missing from not being signed and that is Promotion and backing.

Sure any kid can make music in their bedroom (hence the term bedroom producer).
But it takes more than talent to be heard by thousands and tens of thousands, not to mention starting a career and make a living.

The problem with labels is that they want a share of your profits and they run off old physical media distribution models in an digital age.

Part of this share is taken so that they can promote you and get you more ears.
This is partly true as it takes manpower and countless hours and business connections to get your music out there amongst thousands of artists and the backing you get is a nice thing to have.

But seeing how major record labels are really torn about digital distribution and want to stick to their old physical models, is it any wonder they are considered dinosaurs.

There are more modern indie labels that have a successfull digital model of agreements but they lack the massive promotion manager machine.

Artists are starting to distribute music through their own outlets with hired managers and promoters to go with, and that leaves a question.. are record labels really needed as an entity anymore?

Couldnt you just hire a manager, lawyer and a promoter and release by yourself?
Or is locking yourself out from the machine and all the connections a bad thing?
What are your thoughs about record labels and their state in the digital era.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 01:52:59 PM by Lain »

Re: The state of Record Labels and their influence in music distribution.
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 02:49:15 PM »
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Kazaki

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Re: The state of Record Labels and their influence in music distribution.
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 02:59:26 PM »
Maybe in the future, since CDs will disappear, recording companies will start to become obsolete and everyone will be independent musicians. Getting famous, back then, used to be a big problem for me (I was really an attention-hogger and a spammer XD) when I first made music, but now I see it as not really important. Being famous is really hard with all the legal stuff (I'm a sampler kid). So in the end, I'd still rather stay indie and make music that I can truly be proud of and not be criticized. This is because I simply want to make music for myself, for my personal enjoyment (what a selfish girl!). XD
I'm a girl, therefore I can't do math with music. I just, you know, summon unicorns.
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SandCO

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Re: The state of Record Labels and their influence in music distribution.
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 10:10:17 PM »
I don't wish for a future where you don't own what you buy, and can't offer it to your sons and your grandsons.
Because it's the property of the Record Labels, rented to you through their e-music store partners.
The future of the Record labels is to shift progressively to the all-digital era and to drop physical supports, as the widespread of vinyls, cassettes has ceased a while ago, this will happen to CDs someday and other similar supports.
It's going to happen sooner or later and we can't avoid it. It's more than a trend, it's planned.
I don't think Record labels are attractive anymore for artists, to be produced and marketed.
Sadly, I think that they missed to make the move and to follow the wishes and the habits of the Internet community.
Taken over by websites like Kickstarter, social networks and alternate online stores,
Artists can raise necessary funds to produce, promote and distribute/sale their music.
But then, if you don't have a community manager, an accountant and a lawyer. You have to do it yourself.
That's like having in one hand a bought furniture shipped at home and assembled, and having on the other hand a DIY furniture from IKEA, ;D
It's cheaper, yet it requires working time to set it up, but at least, you gain some more financial and mind freedom.

To make it shorter:
"You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.
You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." Morpheus from Matrix
8)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 10:13:57 PM by SandCO »
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STereochan

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Re: The state of Record Labels and their influence in music distribution.
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 11:18:12 PM »
This is something that has bugging me a lot.

As far as life as indie artist goes, I've never really made it past underground obscurity since I absolutely hate advertising and promoting my music. On Myspace, it wasn't really a problem and I was getting a lot of Gigs too, but once it died, everything came to a halt really. Now, the internet is lacking a solid platform for self-promotion as Facebook is only suited for social stuff (the difference between Myspace and Facebook is like the difference between a Nightclub and Dinner with the family; one is chaotic and flashy and social, the other is boring, safe and your parents are around so you can't just make out with that one girl in the leather mini). Bandcamp is sort of good, but lacks the interaction with fans or incentive for regular users to be part of it at all, Soundcloud is for producers and wank only, and the new Myspace? Haven't even touched it yet.

But that's only the internet of course. In terms of real life stuff, I can barely get a gig outside of Berlin due to my music being not-as-mainstream-as-the-others, and other than that, there's really no good way to get any public attention.

And that's what I'd want a label for or rather what I'd want it to do for me.

Now, the question is, would a Record Label be able to help out enough with Booking, Promotion and advertising so I wouldn't have to worry about all that stuff and could just concentrate on the music or would it just fuck with my creative process and hold me back?

Kazaki

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Re: The state of Record Labels and their influence in music distribution.
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 08:22:59 AM »
But that's only the internet of course. In terms of real life stuff, I can barely get a gig outside of Berlin due to my music being not-as-mainstream-as-the-others, and other than that, there's really no good way to get any public attention.

Ah, we're of the same kind, STereo-kun. XD
No one listens to my genres, and in fact, no one knows that I'm a musician here, if it weren't for a few gigs by our (now on hiatus) indie/J-rock band. LOL

But for me, becoming famous isn't my priority (well not anymore at least), it's just "sharing my music". But I see your point (I used to think that way to). XD
I'm a girl, therefore I can't do math with music. I just, you know, summon unicorns.
 http://youtube.com/Crisel15

Re: The state of Record Labels and their influence in music distribution.
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 04:53:07 PM »
The only thing I feel bad about in this subject is that it is much easier for things to become disposable and more difficult for things to become timeless and remembered, but maybe this is a good thing.

Like some of you, the visual side of what I do is weak mostly because I am not as interested in it, though it is necessary to have something to show people why they'd want to click a play button.

SandCO

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Re: The state of Record Labels and their influence in music distribution.
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 05:48:14 PM »
The only thing I feel bad about in this subject is that it is much easier for things to become disposable and more difficult for things to become timeless and remembered, but maybe this is a good thing.

Like some of you, the visual side of what I do is weak mostly because I am not as interested in it, though it is necessary to have something to show people why they'd want to click a play button.

That's right, sadly nowadays, music is seen more and more as a commercial product and less like a cultural product.
That's why there's less timeless and remembered things.
As music is also an industry nowadays, it has the same features of a typical industrial product,
especially the same bad side.
Which is called "Planned obsolescence".

Either artists follow the industrial rules and vision of music which doesn't really require a strong mindset on it,
either they follow their own mind on it, by elaborating either a scenario,
one or several characters and an artistic identity around their musical world.
Such things can actually make a music timeless to a dedicated public.  :)
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