AfterDawn: Tech news

Future for record labels doesn't look bright

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 21 Jun 2008 14:02 User comments (11)

Future for record labels doesn't look bright George Van Horn, a senior analyst for IBISWorld, is predicting good news for the music industry, but not necessarily for the big labels that have dominated it for decades. In a recent report he predicts a shrinking role for labels in online music sales despite increasing legal downloads.
According to Van Horn "As the industry evolves, it is record labels that are out of step with the latest technology trends, and it's hurting their bottom line in a major way."

And the issue isn't simply one of understanding the market either. He also identifies the labels' lack of a diverse product as a liability. He says "The fact that performers make most of their money from merchandise sales and touring, rather than solely CD sales, also helps protect them somewhat, compared to the record companies which are suffering some serious losses."

But surely they the labels are still important for marketing rightt?

Not necessarily according to Van Horn, who asserts "since illegal downloads are not publicized, a new challenge for record companies lies in identifying which music is popular, discouraging companies from investing too heavily in music as a promotional tool."

In addition Van Horn points out "Digital technology makes it easier for artists to dispense with record labels and publishers, to retain the rights to their own music, and distribute it themselves, and this is particularly true for unsigned and alternative acts -- the very acts that come out of nowhere."

Is what's bad for labels good news for artists and consumers? If you prefer to support your favorite artist through concert tickets rather than their label through lawsuits the answer is apparently yes.

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11 user comments

121.6.2008 14:27

[QUOTE]Is what's bad for labels good news for artists and consumers? If you prefer to support your favorite artist through concert tickets rather than their label through lawsuits the answer is apparently yes.[/QUOTE]

Almost a decade late, people are just now realizing this?

221.6.2008 14:41
nobrainer
Inactive

Quote:
Is what's bad for labels good news for artists and consumers? If you prefer to support your favorite artist through concert tickets rather than their label through lawsuits the answer is apparently yes.
but piracy is to blame not ppl boycotting anti-consumer.

the demise of the gatekeepers can't come quick enough but i'm sure we haven't heard the last from their lobby endlessly trying to get laws passed to strengthen and lengthen copy-write, trying to bully distributors off of the net, and generally alienating themselves but the cat is out the bag as we know who the riaa and mpaa are.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Jun 2008 @ 14:42

321.6.2008 15:07
atomicxl
Inactive

Major labels will still be around. Alot of people seem to think that all you need is a myspace page and you'll be going on world tours, selling out at Madison Square Garden. Or that radio stations just love playing new music and actually want to break artists rather than just play whats comfortable and guaranteed to be a hit. Or that a myspace page is a good replacement for Rolling Stones interviews, cover stories for Complex, Blender etc.

I'd encourage some of you guys saying this stuff to find a local artist that you like and volunteer to help them do music business stuff (get gigs, goto/call radio stations, try to get interviews in mags or even reviews in magazines, etc). If you did it for even a week you'd see that its no easy task and you'd think, "It'd be great if there was a company who had the money and manpower to really handle this". That entity is a major record label.

421.6.2008 15:10

Quote:
Quote:
Is what's bad for labels good news for artists and consumers? If you prefer to support your favorite artist through concert tickets rather than their label through lawsuits the answer is apparently yes.
but piracy is to blame not ppl boycotting anti-consumer.

the demise of the gatekeepers can't come quick enough but i'm sure we haven't heard the last from their lobby endlessly trying to get laws passed to strengthen and lengthen copy-write, trying to bully distributors off of the net, and generally alienating themselves but the cat is out the bag as we know who the riaa and mpaa are.

I need translation for this my jibberish translator broke...I overloaded it with zippy speak :P

The MPAA makes money threw ticket sales and backs it up with a strong enough home video market, however the music industry is falling apart because both consumers and artists are leaving it.

521.6.2008 15:15

Er..yeah, bc we can never have enough Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and nSync!!!

621.6.2008 19:32
blueroad
Inactive

Quote:
George Van Horn, a senior analyst for IBISWorld, is predicting good news for the music industry, but not necessarily for the big labels that have dominated it for decades. In a recent report he predicts a shrinking role for labels in online music sales despite increasing legal downloads.
Quote:


well ill be..maybe theres hope for us consumers yet

721.6.2008 20:18

Originally posted by atomicxl:


I'd encourage some of you guys saying this stuff to find a local artist that you like and volunteer to help them do music business stuff (get gigs, goto/call radio stations, try to get interviews in mags or even reviews in magazines, etc). If you did it for even a week you'd see that its no easy task and you'd think, "It'd be great if there was a company who had the money and manpower to really handle this". That entity is a major record label.
Yes record labels will still be around but not in the way they are now. It will probably be more like it was in the 60's. Not the way it is today with their overly bloated payrolls.

822.6.2008 13:23

Originally posted by atomicxl:
Major labels will still be around. Alot of people seem to think that all you need is a myspace page and you'll be going on world tours, selling out at Madison Square Garden. Or that radio stations just love playing new music and actually want to break artists rather than just play whats comfortable and guaranteed to be a hit. Or that a myspace page is a good replacement for Rolling Stones interviews, cover stories for Complex, Blender etc.

I'd encourage some of you guys saying this stuff to find a local artist that you like and volunteer to help them do music business stuff (get gigs, goto/call radio stations, try to get interviews in mags or even reviews in magazines, etc). If you did it for even a week you'd see that its no easy task and you'd think, "It'd be great if there was a company who had the money and manpower to really handle this". That entity is a major record label.
Couldn't have said it better myself. For established artists, record labels are a thing of the past as their own popularity is enough to drive sales and set up PR. But for artists trying to get their foot in the door, a record label is pretty much their only way in.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Jun 2008 @ 13:24

922.6.2008 13:49
varnull
Inactive

Actually as an established musician I want to blow a few holes in that last statement...

The record companies don't break new acts, they tie them down and exploit them through their almost total control of all possible forms of outlet media. They only sign acts who are either mindless sheep copyists in a standard format (cloned rappers and r+b acts you can't tell one from another.. that's why every other word seems to be their name!!) or the few lucky and talented people who make a name for themselves through the new media online and by hard work on the college and bar circuit.
The only other outlets left for unsigned artists (read.. them few free people who don't want to be told what to sing or where to play) are the odd local radio station and regional tv show which may showcase local small talent without requiring some record company bribe for the airtime.

Record companies have always been bad for music. They want to make the most profit from the least effort.. New acts don't really figure. A Stones live cd recorded on tour will generate probably 60% of the total output/profit for that label in a year.. and the artists will be lucky to see a penny from it. Check how many of the big record companies the Beatles went to before they got seen by a talented man who saw the potential... not in the beat songs, but in something McCartney had written on a bit of paper..
After they hit all the others scrambled for a bit of the action. Every merseybeat band was signed within a year by all the majors. They were all the same.. a few original songs and a heap of covers of american soul and motown stuff, with some rock and roll thrown in. Left to the majors we would all still be listening to those same acts today.. exclusively.. It's labels like Island and Stiff and Deptford Fun City we owe the modern diversity to.. NOT the likes of EMI and Sony who are doing their best to create a sterile all the same product.. and it is a product to them, best made on a production line by easily controlled non-controversial musicians, and sold to sheep by a form of brainwashing by media saturation.

So there you have it.. the REAL inside story. My last product was binned by polygram as "unreleasable..not commercial enough"
When I tried to release it through an independent it caused them to sue me.. the owner of the music.. for breach of contract. It seems they can refuse to sell my music where I am not allowed to release it myself. The crunch was when they threatened the large retail chains with a block of new releases from their labels if they carried my lp.. so it's a very rare item now.. a couple of small independent stores carries id, and airplay was reduced to a couple of local stations and college radio (I waived all royalties to try and get some airtime) probably by exactly the same kind of threats..

Big Business sucks, and they don't know anything about art! Boycott all their products. It's the only way they will get the message. RIAA can kiss my ass.. they owe me royalties which they are probably using to sue people who have downloaded my music.. without my permission I might add.

1022.6.2008 14:26

varnull

Thats a big issue with media content creators are treated like nothing and the corporations are able to force in most cases horrible contracts on people who are either desperate or dumb, the counter argument is it costs 100K+ to distro and promote of course the counter to that cut back on the clones but they can not do so they can not change their business practices.


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

1123.6.2008 4:19
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by atomicxl:
Major labels will still be around. Alot of people seem to think that all you need is a myspace page and you'll be going on world tours, selling out at Madison Square Garden. Or that radio stations just love playing new music and actually want to break artists rather than just play whats comfortable and guaranteed to be a hit. Or that a myspace page is a good replacement for Rolling Stones interviews, cover stories for Complex, Blender etc.

I'd encourage some of you guys saying this stuff to find a local artist that you like and volunteer to help them do music business stuff (get gigs, goto/call radio stations, try to get interviews in mags or even reviews in magazines, etc). If you did it for even a week you'd see that its no easy task and you'd think, "It'd be great if there was a company who had the money and manpower to really handle this". That entity is a major record label.
the problem is that there are many distribution methods but the riaa are trying to control them still, on-line radio has been destroyed because of the riaa's greed and attempt to silence the indie market by forcing them to pay royalties even if the artist does not want them to.

radio is the best marketing but the riaa only want their singed manufactured bands to make money, which is why sony paid millions of dollars, with the payola scam, basically paid to not play indie media and give more air time to their din.

RIAA Claims Ownership of All Artist Royalties For Internet Radio

Originally posted by hyper:
There has been an understandable public outcry against the RIAA’s attempts to more than triple the sound recording copyright royalties on Internet radio. (See Save Internet Radio from Corporate Money Grab) One solution proposed by Webcasters is to just not play RIAA-member songs under the assumption that then they don’t have to pay the royalty to the RIAA’s collection body, SoundExchange; Webcasters would then just pay the independent artist the royalty.

This sounds just and fair because it is. However, the RIAA is not about being just and fair. The game is rigged and the RIAA has rigged it in their favor. The strategy of playing only non-RIAA songs won't work though because the RIAA has secured the right to collect royalties on all songs regardless of who controls the copyright. RIAA operates under the assumption that they will collect the royalties for the "sound recording copyright" and that the artists who own their own copyright will go to SoundExchange to collect at a later date.

"The recent U.S. Copyright Office ruling regarding webcasting designated SoundExchange to collect and distribute to all nonmembers as well as its members. The Librarian of Congress issued his decision with rates and terms to govern the compulsory license for webcasters (Internet-only radio) and simulcastors (retransmissions)." (http://soundexchange.com/faq.html#b4)

"SRCOs (sound recording copyright owners) are subject to a compulsory license for the use of their music...SoundExchange was established to administer the collection and distribution of royalties from such compulsory licenses taken by noninteractive streaming services that use satellite, cable or Internet methods of distribution."
(http://soundexchange.com/faq.html#a4)

SoundExchange (the RIAA) considers any digital performance of a song as falling under their compulsory license. If any artist records a song, SoundExchange has the right to collect royalties for its performance on Internet radio. Artists can offer to download their music for free, but they cannot offer their songs to Internet radio for free. (http://soundexchange.com/faq.html#a7)


So how it works is that SoundExchange collects money through compulsory royalties from Webcasters and holds onto the money. If a label or artist wants their share of the money, they must become a member of SoundExchange and pay a fee to collect their royalties (http://soundexchange.com/faq.html#b6). But, and this is a big "but," you only get royalties if you own the sound recording copyright. If you are signed to a major label, chances are you don’t. Even if you do own the copyright to your own recording of your own song, SoundExchange will collect Internet radio royalties for your song even if you don’t want them to do so.

sony payola scam scandal, dirty underhand tactics by the riaa

Damning Sony payola memos: "I'm a whore this week"
Originally posted by hyper:
60-page PDF of letters and emails among major labels and stations negotiating pay-for-play deals of the sort for which Sony agreed to pay a $10M settlement yesterday. Highlights: Epic lists exact payouts for 75 spins based on size of market. Quotes: 'I'm a whore this week, what can I say?' 'Get a power rotation commitment before we commit.' 'Don't want to position Duran Duran with an 80's club ... they are still just as relevant in 2004.' And of course the inevitable 'Sent from my Blackberry Wireless Handheld.'" It's awesome: this lists DJ after DJ who accepting paltry little tchotchkes in exchange for their integrity and mortal souls. They're not just whores, they're cheap whores. 1.1MB PDF Link


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Jun 2008 @ 5:02

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