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
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 May 2012 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The problems is that the middle-men think they own the whole idea of someone performing music and getting paid. And they have alot of those old formats under complete lockdown.

    This is why they hate Kickstarter, The Promo Bay, and every other service that allows artists to skip the middle-men of old. With the lots and lots of hours of content being uploaded to YouTube every minute/second (someone will remember the most recent numbers) it is harder to use that for self promotion. Then add in the flawed ContentID system weighted to believe the middle-men would NEVER claim to own what they do not. Then the secret deals they have with some middle-men going above and beyond legal requirements and unable to be questioned or seen. They are using their influence and money to slowly try and corrupt the systems that are springing up to bypass the old ways.

    The internet is an amazing tool for the indies, as long as we can keep the old middle-men at bay. What once took a long time, special tools and deals, now can be done in seconds by anyone willing to grab for the brass ring.

    It would be nice to see someone disrupt the "reality" tv music show bubble by putting indies out there and giving them that extra exposure they might need. I would rather see a less than polished indie on a stage than some cookie cutter singing head.

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