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#67266 - 30 Dec 07 06:37 JP/Traditional labels on the way out
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
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Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
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Traditional labels on the way out

Paul Agusta, Contributor, Jakarta

Whoever would have thought that what started with a few cassette freebies from desperate-to-becomeknown music industry wannabes in the mid to late 1990s would take such mind boggling turns this past year?

Starting as 2007 was just beginning to dawn; Indonesia came down with a heavy case of self-release and net-label fever, leaving the major labels and even the burgeoning Indie record companies a bit short of breath.

Yogyakarta led the onslaught, spreading the life-bringing infection through Yesnowave, an Indonesian take on the already booming international trend toward net labels, and healing the old sicknesses of monopoly and artist restriction in the nation's music industry.

The next thing music lovers knew, songwriters, singers and bands of all ilks and expressive persuasions were touting their skills and offering their sounds all over the Internet; and mostly for free.

What led to this trend? Most pundits and scene geeks would cite the propensity of the longstanding major mainstream labels -and even some of the better established Indie labels (Mini Majors) to restrict the creative exploration of their acts in favor of the same-old, sure to sell sounds that had been padding out their bottom lines for too long.

Add to that the lack of proper distribution by the Mini Majors, which used to be an alternative to the grasping tentacles of the mainstream music business, and the situation was such that artists fled in droves to the Internet where they could achieve the same or better levels of distribution domestically.

In the minds of fledgling musicians struggling their way toward recognition, the Mini Majors now appear not much different than their big brothers, who are notorious for management that puts the artists interests last.

Pile onto that the reputation that certain Indie labels had earned for their poor marketing, promotion and management performance (driven by the imbecilic logic that it costs too much to advertise unknowns and that royalties are better pumped back into the business than into the pockets of the artists), and it's clear why there is so much good cutting-edge music now readily available online and offline.

So what is the attraction of self-release and net labels? Most of the Internet renegades will tell you that self releasing gets your stuff out therewithout the hassle of waiting for royalties - more quickly than any traditional distribution channel; it just depends on your own tenacity as an artist and shameless self promoter.

Other pluses are no profit sharing with labels and nobody but you dictating what kind of music you make and how it should be marketed and promoted. And, perhaps the best perk of all, direct connection with the fans and their opinions of your work, not to mention the potential of their pocketbooks. Add to that the immediate international exposure, including writeups and other media coverage.

For net labels specifically, the pros are: no restriction of creative freedom - if you suck you suck; genre specificity (that many net-labels offer) that allows immediate connection with your target audience; and a platform for being noticed that can lead to offers of offline gigs and distribution deals.

The cons - it seems there is only one, that being that most net labels release your music under what is called a creative commons license, which means that people can download your music for free personal use, and have to pay only for film/TV/commercial licensing. The loophole is that if you simultaneously self-release, which net label contracts allow you to do, you can use the net label release as a promotional platform for selling other of your creations.

Self-releasing can be done online to massive profits, especially in the case of artists with strong fan bases, as Radiohead provedmuch to the chagrin of the major international record labelstheir download-and-pay-what-you-want release of In Rainbows in October this year.

Even Madonna thinks it's a great idea; her next album after her final contract album for Warner Music will be right out there online.

This trend has led industry pundits to predictsometimes a tad too gleefully - the demise of traditional labels in less than a decade if they do not change their attitude toward and treatment of artists.
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#67276 - 30 Dec 07 07:02 Re: JP/Traditional labels on the way out [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
I expect to see MP3's available for free downloads, free to share coming soon. Flipside, they will include advertising.

The big boys in the music industry knows that P2P sites will continue to thrive and that file swapping will increase causing decreasing revenues. Stitching an advert onto a tune and making it free seems to be the only solution they will have to ensure revenues.
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#67277 - 30 Dec 07 07:06 Re: JP/Traditional labels on the way out [Re: Dilli]
chewwyUK Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 14 Sep 06
Posts: 2392
Loc: Jakarta
I saw something about that on BBC yesterday .... I think it was Peter Gabriel who may have been banging on about advertsing etc paying for the Music
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#67278 - 30 Dec 07 07:09 Re: JP/Traditional labels on the way out [Re: chewwyUK]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
Think it first came up about 8 or 9 months ago. Gabriel has had a couple of interactive websites which he has sold on. I think he was interviewed on "Click" sometime early on in the year! He has always looked at alternative ways to get music "aired" through Womad and other deals.
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