Adopting New Music Business Models Doesn't Mean The Death Of Record Labels

from the not-at-all dept

There is this incorrect impression out there that, just because I think many record labels have made strategically poor decisions, I think bands should go without record labels in attempting to adopt the new business models that are out there. That's not the case. In fact, I think there's a rather large role for what used to be a "record label" to play in this new ecosystem, and have said so before. Some musicians can try to go it alone, but for many it doesn't make sense. These new business models still require plenty of business smarts and the ability to do marketing -- and that will require experts in those areas. It's just that the expertise needs to be in applying those skills to the new business models (using the content as promotional material and selling scarce goods), rather than the old model. So while we often point to artists ditching major record labels, it's only because those record labels have failed to adapt, and ditching the labels is the only way that some artists are able to try out these new business models.

So, I find it odd when people suggest that a band signing with a record label shows that somehow the model we discussed "failed." Case in point, a commenter on a recent story pointed to a blog post by Chris Anderson about a band he wrote about in his first book, which had originally turned down offers to sign with a record label, but has now changed its mind. The commenter suggests first that I ignored this (when I hadn't yet seen it) and second that it goes against my theory. It absolutely does not. Nowhere have I said that bands should ditch their labels. In fact, I've said that they should sign with labels that recognize the new business models and can handle the "business" side of things, while the musicians focus on making music. In fact, we've highlighted labels such as Nettwerk, that seem to recognize this.

So, once again, for the record: the positions we take around here aren't "anti-record label." They're not even "anti-RIAA." They're actually pro-music, in trying to guide the way for musicians and record labels alike to embrace new music business models that allow them to grow, while giving fans what they want. It's not a zero sum game where one side wins and the other loses. If you understand the economics and the business models, everyone can do a lot better in the end.

Filed Under: business models, copyright, economics, free, music, record labels

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  1. identicon
    LIL MACC LOCO, 27 Mar 2008 @ 1:42pm

    Adopting New Music Business Models Doesn't Mean Th

    First off, as an independent artist starting literaly from the beneth the Ground i'v actuly have had the experiance of going it the way "LIL MACC LOCO" The Walking dead Man Is available via itunes,Rhapsody,and e-music. (Quick shout out).anyway's there are pros and cons to every thing you do as an artist you have to ask your self, "are you willing to give up basicly your soul to a lable to gain finances". some will say yes, and you'll go on tour you'll see your name in lights the'll basicly make you who you are as a artist but when it comes to royalty paments and so forth who do you think put up all that money and how much are you intiteled to. your just a voice on a beat, you didn't even wright the music, if you did it probley wouldn't sound like that so you end up with a car and a house but you can't quit your day job. now there pro's and cons there doing it your self you have to do all the work that includes marketing,and promotion you have to put on so many hats when do you have time to do anything else. then you have budjit restraints that hold you back, !and for what! minamal gain! i'm not trying to discurage young artist i don't want no one missing the point here. the point is do what makes you happy and wey out the pros and cons before makeing a decision if you become a succes good. if you don't at least you tryied and you can never say i think i could of. !you no!

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