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The Music Industry, Bad Analogies and a Revolution Part II: Record Labels
The Music Industry, Bad Analogies and a Revolution Part II: Record Labels
04/26/09 at 04:14 AM by goodarmcindy
This will be the second, and concluding, part of my blogs on the music industry. This blog will focus on the role of record labels in a changing industry. Again to make it clear I will mostly be focusing on what is deemed ‘rock’ music and thus the rock music industry. Echoing my first post I will try and apply some political theory to this topic and horribly, horribly stretch out the analogy as long as I can. *
Everyone knows the major players in terms of record labels, and most people have an opinion on them, and it is rarely a good one. Major labels make your favourite band sell out, they have no souls, they chew bands up and spit them out, they have been the cause of more than one band break up yet they still manage to make huge profits.
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08:26 AM on 04/26/09
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Great post. I think you should have touched more on the fact that because labels chew up and spit out the flavor of the week artist, the artists themselves are not given the opportunity to develop and sustain a sense of longevity like bands in the past (aerosmith, the rolling stones, etc.). Most bands, whether they are on a major label or not, typically only put out between 1-2 albums before they get into money problems and ultimately find out that the music industry isn't really a source of sustainable, consistant income.

Also, I believe you should look at issues with indie labels. Due to many factors (economy, lack of marketing, bad business ventures, over saturation of the market, whatever), bands aren't selling records on indie labels, most can't afford to tour, and consequently indie labels are losing money and the bands are negatively impacted by it.

For example, consider all the problems drivethru bands have had... I believe Houston Calls didn't even get cds from drivethru for their recent tour. I know people seem to have some sort of stigma towards Richard Reines, but he put it best. When someone pirates music, the band loses income, which means the label loses income, which means consumers/people that enjoy listening to new music miss out on new artists getting opportunities because labels can not afford to sign and invest into new acts. Cause and effect.

I understand that teenagers can't afford to buy music... but just because one can not afford something, does not mean they should steal it. I can barely afford my college education, but whether I can or can't, I gotta pay for it somehow. Artists make music as a product for them to sell. Once piracy occurs, it's just as bad as walking into Best Buy, taking a CD and running out. The only way for the music industry to counteract this false sense of entitlement is to develop new, innovative ways of marketing artists and their products. Ring tones are a great example of this. The music industry sells 30 second snippets of songs for ringtones and creates synergy between the music and telecommunications. They must continue to pursue opportunities such as that.

I agreed with much of what you said, with the exception of piracy. I believe that artists should be able to share their music if they want to; however, if they choose to sell it, simply out of respect, we should all purchase it and support them. They are providing a service to us, as the listener, by spending their time and money brainstorming, writing, recording, mixing, producing, etc. their music. It's not easy trying to make it in the music industry, while putting off further education and getting a real job. It's admirable to put it all on the line for a few chords over a few minutes. We should do them the simple courtesy of spending twelve bucks on their blood, sweat, and tears.
09:33 AM on 04/26/09
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oops meant to post that under this name!
09:40 AM on 04/26/09
I've hated airports ever since...
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Originally Posted by Arden
oops meant to post that under this name!
First of all, thanks for replying.

And I do agree with a lot of what you said - but I don't think record labels are dealing with the issue of piracy the right way and agree with you when you say they need to be innovative in solving it.

Although I will just say I wouldn't mind paying $12 for a CD but I object to paying £12. When I was in America a couple of years back I couldn't believe how cheap CDs were and went home with about 15 that I bought for what would have got me about 6 or 7 in the UK.

By the way please check out my blog (which contains similar things but I update it more often) Here
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