In this age of digital media and social networking, the grip of major labels and their control over recording artists music distribution has become less and less important. With artists able to distribute their music on a global scale thru digital outlets without having to sign a contract with a traditional record company in order to have their music available to the masses, what purpose does a major label really have anymore?
It used to be that in the past artists would seek out a “record deal” in order to have their music manufactured on vinyl, cassette tapes, cd’s , etc., but now those forms of media are as obsolete as 8 track tapes and VCR’s due to the convenience, popularity and cost effectiveness of mp3 downloads. Music fans no longer have to go to a physical record store to buy music which is why you can barely find a traditional record store that is still in business. Even the world famous Rock & Soul in NYC closed its doors for good a few years back. It used to be we needed record companies to service these outlets but those outlets don’t exist anymore and fans can simply download music directly to their computers and smartphone’s now, so that role is no longer a viable reason for artists to seek a record deal.
Artists can now reach their fans by cutting out the middle-man and directly dealing with a digital distributor to get their music to the masses and also not having to relinquish the majority of their profits to do it. A traditional record company contract would only offer artists anywhere between 10-18 points or % of the net profits from the sale of their music and the label usually owns the master recordings of that music forever, whereas artists who have digital distribution situations set up can retain 80-85% of their profits generated from the sale of their music only paying a small distribution fee to the digital distribution outlet and keep ownership of their own master recordings. This is huge for the artists, putting the power into their hands where it belongs.
Now don’t get me wrong, successfully distributing your music digitally isn’t an easy task. Artists still need money for marketing, advertising, touring, etc. but even that’s become easier with the use of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and others. If you have the right business plan, funding, team in place and some creative marketing savy, you can be extremely successful and have ownership of yourself and your creative property instead of a label owning you and everything you create. Just ask any artist that has had success on their own digitally like Drake, Maclemore, Troy Ave and many others who all gained their popularity by going digital first. Even if they do wind up signing with a major label eventually, the dynamics of their deals are totally different and in favor of the artist as opposed to those who labels sign directly that are usually locked into 360 deals where the artists own nothing and are liable to give the label a piece of everything including money from touring. It’s no coincidence that artists indie mixtapes actually sell more than albums distributed by major labels.
My message to recording artists in this new digital era is this; weigh your options, organize your own business, build your brand and create a music distribution situation for yourself using the tools and technologies that are readily and easily available to you instead of just selling your soul to a traditional record company whose goal is not to be in your best interest but is to rape you in their best interest.
– Editorial by Corey “Drumz” Banks
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Posted by TheBanksBrand