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), 14 May 2012 @ 10:37pm

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

    The majority of musicians have never been signed to a label nor were they going to be signed to a label.

    True, but they've never "made it" before. Largely because they couldn't - the avenues of expression were monopolized by a cabal of multinationals.

    It is now possible to "make it" - or at least make a living - without having to deal with that cabal. And that deserves to be trumpeted.

    Of course, the vast majority of those who try to make a living off of art will fail. That has always been true, and always will be true. I don't think anyone here has ever pretended it wasn't. But it's still better for musicians now than it ever was before.

    I'm unqualified to talk about actors and actresses, but from what little I know, they earned the majority of their money on a "per-gig" basis anyway.

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