Can You Make It Big In The Music
Business WITHOUT The Backing
Of A Major Record Label?
The major record labels
are running scared. Recent figures from the RIAA show that the
sale of CD's have fallen by 13% this year. Conversely, sales of
digital music (downloads) has risen quite dramatically, so while
more people are buying music, less are choosing the 'old fashioned'
CD format to listen to that music...leaving the big record labels
with falling profits and a major headache for the future.
The good news for new singers and artists hoping to make it big
in the music business is that you may no longer actually need
the backing of a major record label to make it big...
Going It Alone
High profile acts like Nine
Inch Nails and Paul
McCartney have already ditched their record labels and are
releasing their own music (Paul McCartney is releasing his music
through Starbucks coffee shops), and Radiohead
are offering their new album as a free download and if you like
it, then make a donation to them of how much you think it's worth!
I personally believe that
the demise of the record companies is their own fault. For too
many years they've been selling the public over-priced CD's -
the very same CD's which they sell in other parts of the world
at a fraction of the price. Add on to that the Digital Rights
Management systems that they've been trying to build in to CD's
(which stops you playing the CD on certain machines), and you
can easily see why Joe Public has been getting less and less willing
to stump up his hard earned cash to buy CD's. After all, would
you buy a bag of sweets that you couldn't open?
In the past, the reason an
artist would sign up with a record company was to gain access
to their mighty publicity and distribution machine. Record companies
had the funds to promote your act and produce and distribute your
music on a large scale. However, the argument now is that promotion
and distribution can be handled just as effectively by the artists
themselves (as Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Paul McCartney are
And it's not just the big established artists who can do this...you
can do it too. Every artist, even if you're just trying to break
in to the music business, can easily take out a free account with
websites like Myspace
where you can promote your music to millions of visitors and talk
to your fans directly. Got a video you want to promote? Then post
it on YouTube
for all the world to see...
No longer do you need the backing of an industry giant to get
your talents spotted. The internet has now become the biggest
stage in the world (and the biggest market-place for your music)...
...and when it comes to selling your music, an mp3 of your song
will sell to more people, in more areas in the world, quicker,
and more conveniently, than if it was sitting on the shelf of
a high street record shop waiting for someone to walk in and buy
Who knows! Admittedly it would be unusual for a multi-million
pound industry like the record labels to just let themselves fall
in to decline completely, so it's unlikely that we'll ever see
the demise of the record label completely - it's probably more
likely that they will change their business model to suit the
ever changing music-buying public, so don't count them out just
yet. Remember, they still have massive funds at their disposal
which is helpful if you need an advance to buy some time to get
that new album finished or need some serious money to shoot a
video to accompany your latest single release.
However, up until recently you simply could not
make it in the music business without a record labels backing.
Today that's not necessarily the case...and who knows what tomorrow
As the saying goes, "watch this space..." (or should
I say "watch Myspace...")!
Article Written by Kenny Campbell
(This article cannot be reproduced without express
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