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Author Topic: Good news or bad?  (Read 4029 times)

Zoesch

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Re: Good news or bad?
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2004, 09:47:29 PM »

The problem is taking the DIY approach to a dangerous extreme in which you end up with a dillution of the talent pool because, simply, there's too many labels to keep track of. It works for established talent that can use their name to market themselves, but for Joe Startup it isn't as simple.

About six years ago (When Vivendi started making noises around consolidation and EMI was already on the acquisition path) I told a friend of mine that all this consolidation was gonna lead to a decrease in the number of releases available to the public, this friend (who used to be a VP in Virgin Latin America) said that it was impossible, that the mergers will lead to better releases and more artists because the merged companies would have a more secure financial position to develop and promote artists... you know today who was right and who ended up being wrong Very Happy

The mentality of the major label isn't gonna change, it's gonna be slimmed down and made more efficient for consumption, the ball has been on the minor/indie labels' court for quite a while, and it's not about picking up the extra weight that the majors are shedding, is about changing the way the industry rules are set... just look at Mute, it became big enough to almost be a major and ended up being swallowed by one.

I hate to sound like a beancounter but in the end you have to find a balance between profitability and artistic vision/integrity, not just run brandishing spears trying to overtake that huge goliath of a major.

BTW Bob, funny you mention Relapse, that's a label I've been very fond of since the early 90's not just because of their output but also because of the way it is run and the people that run it... compare that to Roadrunner... *shudder*
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lucey

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Re: Good news or bad?
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2004, 12:36:43 AM »

ted nightshade wrote on Thu, 22 July 2004 11:39



The best of all worlds is when literal, pushy, nuts and bolts people can distribute and make possible the music of vulnerable, dreamy, visionaries. To find all that in one person or band is to narrow the great pool of potential great music to a drop, if that.



well said, McGuinness and U2 comes to mind, Ozzy and Sharon even ... other examples abound

Quote:


Yes, I am a vulnerable dreamy visionary! A pretty good one. I am the more practical and grounded accomplice of a truly great vulnerable dreamy visionary who is almost completely incapable in any technical or practical way, and really quite mentally ill, but from whom gorgeous moving original music pours like a fountain. And I am in no way at all practical or pushy or efficient enough to help this woman be heard on anything but a small local scale.

<ed>I can only think that the music is bound to suffer when the artist is busy push push pushing themselves and their CDs instead of surrendering wholly to art, which requires a real dissolution of ego and personality- the most vibrant artist is a flux, not an entity capable of doing business in any way but making music.



well said ... very well said

Quote:


<ed>I can't tell the difference between the 4 or 5 from here, so it may as well be 1 as far as I'm concerned-


Agreed.  the monopoly is not a literal or 'provable', but it is as real as one label in practice.  (and principle for that matter as the business models and guiding principles are the same)

the big 4/5 are like one company with multinational operations, and/or offshore offices ... legally separate, yet no more separate than a multinational similar to say, Halliburton, who dominates a particular field
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ted nightshade

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Re: Good news or bad?
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2004, 08:48:49 PM »

Bob Olhsson wrote on Fri, 23 July 2004 18:30

ted nightshade wrote on Thu, 22 July 2004 11:39


Ani De Franco is the person who is so organized and so single minded and so driven and so canny that she managed to DIY to unprecedented levels

She has used DIY as a publicity thing but her actual level of accomplishment isn't even in the ballpark with Johnny Rivers, Smokey Robinson, Herb Alpert, the group Oregon or Jimmy Buffett. They just didn't send out press releases announcing how "hip" they were to be running their own labels.


Didn't all those folks come to public attention as the result of major label promotion? (Motown wasn't a major, but as we no there's no equivalent today.) I don't believe Ani has ever been on a major label (or subsidiary).

Like Prince or Amy Mann, easier to go it alone when you've been brought to bigtime public awareness by the big boys.

You're right though, Ani has a whole lot invested in being hip- she's got dreadlocks for the dreadlocks crowd, but a leather jacket for the leather jacket crowd, etc. etc.

I'd like to believe someone could achieve that kind of following and prominence (read: be heard and able to work at a quality level) without such posturings and without major label help, but I doubt it...
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Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

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Bob Olhsson

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Re: Good news or bad?
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2004, 10:24:48 PM »

All of those folks started their own label early-on and achieved their national recognition and top charting albums on their own label. Motown and A&M became seriously major independent labels with a multitude of artists but they began as artist-owned labels.

ted nightshade

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Re: Good news or bad?
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2004, 01:44:23 PM »

Thanks Bob, much appreciated.
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Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

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Or maybe you prefer home cookin'?

Rob Darling

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Re: Good news or bad?
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2004, 08:59:58 AM »

I have no problem whatsoever with such mergers.  The fact is that the major labels are already half a step away from just being distribution entities.  The reason we have so many problems in the rest of the industry is that the labels still sign deals like they are doing more than just distributing- in what business does a distributor take eighty percent of the profit?  The pie isn't big enough for them to take that much and everyone else to make a good living.

As the labels continue to merge and become more conservative, they will have to rely on outside sources for new product.  They will have to strike different deals in order to get the new products.  In the end, I believe the business will be very much like the movie business, where every record is technically an independent.  If you want to make a certain kind of album, say a Celine Dion type thing, you'd probably want to have a greenlight from a major distribution partner who can do the massive promotion and get it spread out fast, but nich stuff will get made differently and still be very profitable, moreso than now.  

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Bob Olhsson

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Re: Good news or bad?
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2004, 02:55:54 PM »

There have been fewer major concert promoters, broadcasters and retailers in the US than major labels for some time. Everybody loves to knock record labels but the fact is that they are probably the least of the real consolidation problem.
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