Independent Music Labels
In these Times, Music Sales have changed a lot. Around 10 Years ago, it was becoming visible in the Music Industry, that with the new popular Ways of downloading via Internet Music for free, financial Losses were heading toward the Music Industry.
Today, it is even more clear, that after a couple Years of financial Loss in Music Sales, it is still not fully established to sell Music via Internet, instead of physically in form of CD’s in physical stores.
This change in Sales and Distribution Ways, has also had an impact on the Art itself.
Newcomers had now an even thicker wall to breakthrough and be given a chance, and even famous, established Artists have been let down by their Labels due to a lack of Sales (compared to before and compared to what expenses famous Artists need to promote new Material etc…).
Looking at the situation in 2011 now, it seems not too much has changed. Yes, there are better and growing ways to sell Music online, stream Songs online and actually just pay for what you consume and not Songs you don’t want to hear. One can pick from an Album and buy each Song usually separate, or buy all, or 2 to 3. Back in the 80’s, 90’s and even with Lp’s way before, it was different. You had to put on your jacket and walk to the store to buy your Record, the whole Thing, and maybe you bought it for one Song you heard or because you liked the Artist so much already, but then you had the whole Story, physically. It cost more, because they had to press and ship it to your stores as well, and now we have a totally different situation.
Big Artists today still press CD’s, but they do also sell online via Internet. It is an atmosphere in general around the whole Business, of not knowing what is coming ahead. People experiment, and try new Ways, new Ideas, new Combinations, and tour more to bring in Money. Some try to sell their “Person” and do all kinds of different activities besides Music only- Music itself has been pushed more and more into the Background in the last couple Years.
A while ago we had Artists like Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson having sold the most Records of all Time. We had Whitney Houston, which sang with such Magic in her Voice only, that one had to listen in amazement. We had the Beatles, who wrote Songs about Life in all it’s different colors and ways, and everyone could identify with the Words.
Today, we have more and more digital, looped, auto-tuned and very artificial Pop Music as in Popular Music. Young Artists today talk a lot, but don’t really bring it on. It is more talk than action- and who has more Money, can promote themselves better, and put a shadow on other Artists, who have less Money for Promotion. Surely this is also a way to become “famous”, but then it is not your work which made it happen, but some rich Guy who pays lots of Commercials for you- great.
Maybe the Music does not sell so well anymore, because it is not as good as before. Maybe, the Issues that arose for the Music Industry through these new Ways of sharing and downloading via a worldwide connected Community, is not the Problem at all.
And this theory can only be tested, if we find an Artist, who can bring back some real, and I mean r-e-a-l Magic to the Scene and create that famous WOW effect once more. Maybe in our global new situation, it could be someone from anywhere in the World!
Back to our main Topic, Indie Labels. In this situation, what advantages do Independent Music Labels have compared to Major Labels?
I’ll tell you:
When you are a small, flexible Company, you might not have the huge global Connections Major Labels have, and also not that much Money to spend, but this is exactly why you depend more on really good ideas and creativity. You depend more on what really matters in Music- which is the MUSIC, and put all your Best in there.
Major Labels focus on so many more things, and this means also financially, with way more People involved usually in Projects, that it becomes more a focus on the whole picture, including marketing strategies and promotional efforts to gain in sales. There isn’t enough focus on the PRODUCT itself, the Music, not even much TIME to spend making the best Songs really.
And here it turns more into a Movie: A set Up Scene, which is thought out well many Times, but has no soul and empty words.
About 10 Years Ago, a friend of mine which is has been a Music Manager said to me: The Future belongs to the Indie Labels!
And my guess is, that the next real big thing in Pop Music will be coming from you, independent and real passionate Musicians and Artists out there, now that everyone has a chance to release Music and Video even from home- in our new online, digital, futuristic World. Of course, and I really don’t like to admit this, but the Internet has also brought some new Issues we never knew before, so here goes a Note: The right Idea is really what sells, that could be a Song, or additionally a unique Personality/Life Story-YOU. Some Musicians do their Music by themselves and are themselves when they look in the Mirror, others can sleep at night after they stole and hacked Ideas from others, even unknown, but creative Artists. You can’t expect everyone, sadly, in the World to be fair, so protect your Creativity, Girls and Boys out there. Because I can’t wait to hear more and more good, independent Musicians coming out and showing the whole World, what Music really is about once again.
And the conclusion is, if you want to sell more Music again and really be liked artistically by the People of the World, you need to make better Music -it’s as simple as that. You need to IMPRESS, with real Talent. Then People will always like it and feel intuitively, that you are real in what you try to sell to them. Any other approach does not work long term-and someday People talk about you like: Hey, do you remember this once big Star? What does she/he do today?
And that tells us even clearer and louder, that real LEGENDS are only made by GOD-GIVEN Talent, not expensive Promo.
Let’s see what the Future brings…