Do bands need labels anymore?
We’re told that the music industry has been revolutionized by the internet and in some ways it has.Paying for music is now just an option for a lot of people so that makes making your first million out of playing pop music that little bit harder. On the plus side though, music fans have unparalleled access to media and can easily find a new band on myspace then buy the bands songs from an online store like emusic or digital seven. Bands still have to pay expensive studio prices but they save by not producing the physical product and selling straight to the consumer. Is this a viable business model?
[ad#text wrap]Well, not really. Theres two problems. Major labels and major labels. I know thats only one but it’s a big problem. The big four labels don’t like the fact that this business model could work because it leaves them with nothing to do. To that end they only deal with download sites that encode the music files they sell so that the music can’t be shared with other fans. The fact that the consumer is now in a more powerful position than they have been before is what they don’t like. They still have nearly all the power though because they have the clout to get songs played on the radio, videos on the box and the bands on the road. The public also look to labels as the opinion makers and this is where there power really lies.
Ask any serious band just starting out what there main aim is. Ninety percent of them will say “to get signed”. Why?, because until you’re signed you’re not a real band, not in the eyes of the public. Ive had people say to me. I really like your album, it sounds like a real band.
Labels were created to find, press, distribute and promote new music from artists. They were necessary. Music no longer needs to be distributed or pressed so that just leaves finding and promoting. For promoting there’s social networks like myspace, social media sites and lots of (i hate to say the dreaded u word) unsigned networks. To help people find new music there’s search engines and search engine optimisation. The only flaw I can see to the plan is whether people will listen to new rock music they haven’t heard before. But I’ll let you know that when I find out.
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