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June 28, 2005

No Big Labels Allowed

Boston.com:  As downloading music begins to gain momentum as "the most efficient way" to distribute, promote and share music - more and more Indie-only sites (i.e., AudiolunchBox, Magnatune, Indieburn, downloadmusicmart.com) are starting to pop up in the industry offering unsigned musicians a way to gain recognition and make more money. This is primarily because there's always been an economic imabalance in the traditional artist/label relationship. (For example, on popular legal music sites like iTunes and Napster - artists only receive $.08 to $.14 cents per song from a $.99 sale...Pretty big markup to swallow!)

Anyway, as more online businesses begin to pop up in support of independent music, it's clear that musicians can get 50% or more of the profits, more direct revenue, and nonexclusive deals allowing them to distribute their music anywhere in the world. The article points out that, "Independent online stores don't usually impose digital rights management (DRM) schemes on the music, allowing customers to do what they please with the music as long as it is for personal use...The bottom line is that there are ways around digital rights management," said Morgan Harris, cofounder and chief executive of AudioLunchBox.com. Harris said people won't use his site to steal but will use other illegal measures like P2P file-sharing where downloads are free. ''If people want to steal, they're going to steal."

So, there's a whole generation of music fans who believe that the major record labels are not fairly paying the artists -  which in addition to inflated prices and lack of choice in online catalogues - is what led to all the illegal downloading in the first place..."While the larger digital music stores provide strong competition, the independents are betting that the combination of no or more lenient DRM, more direct revenue to the artists, and fresh new music will keep them afloat..."

Posted by Todd in Indie Labels | Permalink


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Of course, the question is... why do these sites have to be indie-only? As a consumer, I want a single service that exposes both major label and unsigned artists in a single interface with a recommnedations engine that will surface the latter based on my preferences for the former.

Posted by: J Herskowitz | Jun 28, 2005 10:35:16 AM

I do think it should be mentioned that all in all it costs much more for a major label to run than it does an indie label. Artists on the majors may not be getting as big of a percentage as artists on indie labels, but then again indie artists don't get the exposure and promotions that major label artists do. It's all a cost benefit factor.

Sling Slang Records

Posted by: Anonym97 | Sep 30, 2006 2:42:37 AM

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