With this question an important topic in our modern music manifesto, it seems it is a question that has been begging answers for years now.
With the work of singularity and independence coming into play in the music industry, less and less artists have had to rely on the demanding schedule and pay schemes of record labels. Whether it be independent or corporate, the feelings are mutual with record labels becoming less and less prevalent in our industry.
More so for financial support than anything else – and to merely shift the artists around on a spreadsheet to ultimately balance the books – record labels are not nearly as important for underground and bedroom music artists, who can distribute their own music themselves.
With artists fully in control of their music, their are fantastic sites out there that can allow artists to obtain 100% of all music royalties – without having to do unnecessary splits at the business table.
It is important to uncover that some record labels out there are sourced independently and the majority of them are musicians themselves. Keen, motivated and simply happy to be where they are, these more indie-sleuths of the corporate world are a far more dazzling prospect to keen up-starters and demonstrate a more creative side to the industry. Where investments, global value and profits are still important, these indie individuals like to take a back seat on such matters, and focus more so on the music.
Transgressive, Domino and Mind of a Genius Records are a few that do exactly that. But, with these still alive in our industry, many are far too hesitant with the prospect of incorporating contracts and verbal agreements into their music – when all they want to do is just play it.
So, what’s your view? Are record labels a dying breed? Should we leave them behind as we get our music industry back on track from lockdown? Or do we need them know more than ever simply for financial stability?