Tag Archives: Music Business

Who needs a label?

Sister Hazel and Collective Soul are just two bands who have proven they can be successful without the support of a major record label. They have continued to sell out venues and generate CD sales from a fan base developed over the years.

Radiohead offered their latest CD as a download, asking fans to pay only what they felt it was worth.

Jill Sobule, best known for her song “I Kissed A Girl,” is the latest to join the list of artists released new music through non-traditional streams. However, in her case, she has generated more than $58-thousand without a finished record! Continue reading

Education is the answer, but for labels.

Yesterday, my blog shared research indicating consumer education might be the answer for music’s battle with illegal downloaders.  Apparently, the ones who really need to be educated are the labels.

A senior executive from Universal Music Group made this suggestion at the Mobile World Congress:  “If an artist has just delivered an album from studio, we could potentially deliver it to a limited number of users for a higher price.  It’s something we’re quite keen to develop, for example, through our own B2C channels … artists’ web sites.

Yeah, that’s a great idea.  Why download it (illegally) for nothing when you can pay even more to get it?  It makes perfect sense!  It certainly seems more logical than producing quality material at a lower price with value incentives through modern channels.

The only redeeming quality to this ridiculous concept is the idea to let consumers stream the entire album immediately upon release.  If consumers are given a chance to sample the product, I would bet more would buy the songs they like.  And, if there’s a better value to buy the whole project, sure!

Since we’re on the subject, why has the industry not mandated a sliding scale for purchasing music online?  I’ll pay a couple bucks to get the Foo Fighters “The Pretender” while it’s hot and maybe the entire CD for ten; but, if I get the urge to hear an old Hootie & The Blowfish tune, I’m more likely to buy it for a quarter than 99-cents.

That’s my 2-cents for the day on this subject … coincidentally, the same amount I’d pay to download something from ABBA.

UPDATE: First major artist jumps from EMI.

Here’s an update to an earlier post about EMI MUSIC GROUP’s latest “restructuring” under owner TERRA FIRMA. You can read that post here.

Financial Times reports the ROLLING STONES plan to abandon their EMI home, releasing their new CD “Shine A Light” in March under the UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP brand. The move to Universal only covers the new album, and does not extend to the Rolling Stones’ catalogue of previous recordings. The Stones have been with EMI since 1977, leaving briefly for VIRGIN RECORDS in the 1980’s. Virgin was later acquired by EMI.

An spokesman for EMI says, “They’ve not signed to Universal and they’ve not left EMI. This is just a one-off thing.” Can you say denial? Please! Why would a band of such magnitude want to stay with a label group that won’t commit to marketing or promoting their new release. Personally, I haven’t been a fan of anything the Stones have done since their early 90’s, and Mick Jagger looks like death on stage. But, their CD debuted at #3 in 2005 and led to the highest grossing concert tour of 2006.

What’s next? Expect the ageless Stones to sign a deal with LIVE NATION, similar to recent signings by MADONNA and the JONAS BROTHERS.

More bad news for the Label business.

TERRA FIRMA, the parent company of EMI MUSIC GROUP, which in turn owns labels such as Virgin Records and Capitol Records, announced major restructuring plans for the next six months on this mornings webcast. CEO Guy Hands has set up EMI/NA under President Roger Ames with separate heads for their foreign divisions saying, “We have spent a long time looking intensely at EMI and the problems faced by its Recorded Music division which, like the rest of the music industry, has been struggling to respond to the challenges posed by a digital environment … make EMI’s music more valuable for the company and its artists alike.” Specific changes announced for the label group include:

  • Repositioning EMIs labels to ensure they will be completely focused on A&R and maximizing the potential of all their artists.
  • Developing a new partnership with artists, based on transparency and trust, and helping all artists monetize the value of their work by opening new income streams such as enhanced digital services and corporate sponsorship arrangements.
  • Bringing together all the groups key support activities including sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution into a single division with a unified global leadership.
  • The elimination of significant duplications within the group to simplify processes and reduce waste.

What does this mean to artists, the field staff, and radio?

Continue reading

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