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Fortune asks: Who Needs Record Companies?
Coolfer gives the depressing-but-accurate answer: Except for the superstars, most artists need record companies.
Posted at 06:13 PM in Enemy of the Music Business | Permalink
okay, i haven't read the articles, but it seems the other way around. the "superstars" need the big record companies to make them superstars. the rest of us just manage on our own, don't we?
09 August 2006 at 12:22 PM
the "superstars" need the big record companies to make them superstars
Yes, but once they are already superstars, then they can afford to ditch them. This applies to niche superstars like Dave Douglas and Maria Schneider as well -- ArtistShare is not a viable option for someone who does not already have an international reputation and a significant number of highly devoted fans.
the rest of us just manage on our own, don't we?
As I said in my comments on Mwanji's blog, self-released albums are still widely regarded as "vanity projects." You can't get a Copland grant to help finance a recording project you intend to release yourself. Pitchfork will flat-out refuse to review your self-released record. Good luck landing a festival gig or a hit at a high-profile venue or an interview on Soundcheck or what have you without an "official" release on a "proper" label.
09 August 2006 at 12:37 PM
but you can make your 'vanity project' into a label, right? a la ani? the label ASM is on is basically someone else's 'vanity project' -- i don't mean that derogatorily, because i think people who start their own labels are swell (esp. this particular lass). i guess i'm saying aren't all labels vanity projects on some level?
10 August 2006 at 11:32 AM
Hey, the dismissive attitude towards "vanity projects" isn't mine -- I think that view is bullshit, but it is a widely held view. Of course you can start your own label, but unless you make it a real label -- sign artists other than yourself,and build up the label's rep over many years (a la Screwgun) -- it doesn't really help with venues and festival promoters. Whereas if they don't know you, but they see that, "Oh, this guy's on Palmetto/Sunnyside/Enja/etc," that actually means something to them. It shouldn't, but it does.
Of course, it's even worse in the indie rock world, where listeners (not just promoters) actually care about what label you're one.
10 August 2006 at 01:07 PM
Depends what one mean by "record companies". I mean it's just a legal body that existed on paper right? Anybody can make a record companies.
Big Record labels however, I seriously think we can do without. Their sheer economic size and concentration of decission making on few hands distort artistic value.
BTW, Coolfer is big labels guy. Just so you know. His position consistently pro big label, regardless of reality.
12 August 2006 at 11:08 PM
Pitchfork will flat-out refuse to review your self-released record. Good luck landing a festival gig or a hit at a high-profile venue or an interview on Soundcheck or what have you without an "official" release on a "proper" label.
Posted by: DJA | 09 August 2006 at 12:37 PM
Because nobody, not a single artist actually bother creating environment/community of reviewers, despite the existence of cheap and easy to use tool. There is no honest effort, for eg. to create a group blog devoted to analyze/ review music from artist point of view that public can follow.
Seriously, Pictfork dude is just some computer guy 3-4 years ago. What's so special about pitchfork? Open your own blog, pump it up to several K/day reader. It'll become bigger than p4k eventually after 2 years.
To be frank, no artist can whine about not being able to organize and publicise each other in this internet era. Everybody is too busy thinking glitzy/big media move.
12 August 2006 at 11:15 PM
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