Note To Record Labels: Big Musicians Don't Need All Your Services (And Attached Strings) Any More
from the why-bother? dept
The article notes, by example, that Universal Music turned down a potential deal to distribute Ice Cube's latest album. The deal would have been for distribution only (something the labels are good at) -- leaving Ice Cube to pay his own way for production and marketing. However, Universal apparently said no, out of a fear that if it were successful, other big name artists would start realizing they didn't need the full suite of services (and the indentured servitude of a recording contract) either. Of course, if true (and Universal denies it), it would suggest that, yet again, the record labels are hastening their own demise. The power of the internet and other new technologies has definitely decreased the need for certain parts of the record labels' services -- but it doesn't mean they're completely obsolete. They are still strong in distribution and marketing -- and these are very valuable services. However, their insistence on presenting the whole package when it's not needed is driving musicians away, and that will just lead more to route around the labels completely. If they embraced the changes in the market, they'd realize there are still plenty of opportunities where they could make money, without resorting to suing thousands upon thousands of music fans, and making many others feel like criminals just for listening to music they like.