Musicians Realizing They Don't Need Major Labels Anymore

from the hello,-kickstarter dept

Music reality TV has become a key feeding ground for the major labels lately. Shows like American Idol, the Voice, X Factor and the like seem to be where the labels have been picking up some of their bigger name stars lately -- allowing the shows to help build up an initial following and then picking off the stars with typical record label deals. Except... it appears that some of those musicians are realizing that they don't need the labels any more. Jordis Unga, a singer who has appeared on two reality TV shows (Rock Star: INXS and The Voice), has decided that she doesn't need to sign a label deal. While she didn't win on either show, she did build up quite a following, and she decided that for her debut album, she might as well just hit up Kickstarter, and ask for $33,000. Which she got. In less than a day. In the first day alone her project on Kickstarter raised over $50,000.

Now, perhaps some will complain that she is now beholden to her fans, but that seems a lot better than being beholden to a multinational conglomerate who claims all ownership and control of your work. Others, quite reasonably, will point out that she built up some of this following by being on two prime time network national TV shows. That's absolutely true. No one is saying that the trick to being a successful musician today is to just go on reality TV. But the point is that if you can build up a following -- in any way possible -- the need for a record label diminishes. And there are more and more and more ways to build up that audience today. If the labels aren't worried about these alternatives, they're not paying very much attention.

Filed Under: american idol, jordis unga, reality tv, the voice, x factor
Companies: kickstarter


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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 15 May 2012 @ 3:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Celebrity Mentality

    People who have only known the music business since the Internet days are assuming that the Internet has transformed life for DIY artists.

    Sorry to keep harping on you like this, it's nothing personal obviously. But here, again, I just don't see that. In fact, I see the opposite.

    It's the bands that weren't DIY'ing it before the internet that think it's harder nowadays. This is especially true of musicians on a label today. They say stuff like: "I've heard selling 100,000 records today is like selling a platinum album in the 1990's." Of course it's not true at all. And that's not experience talking; that's what they heard from someone at their label.

    It's the ones (like me) who have been doing it on their own for 20 years that see how things are better. It certainly hasn't "transformed life," but it's made things a tiny bit better, one small increment at a time.

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