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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Artists to Major Record Lables: It's Just Not Fair

This is an old video but it is a really good explanation from Jazzy Jeff about how most major label artists will never see a dime in mechanical royalty payments. Major record labels spend an enormous amount of money on their artists. As Jazzy Jeff mentioned, that money is spent on music production costs (recording studio, producers, mixing, mastering, etc) and promoting (radio, music videos, tour support). 

Surely, you can understand that since the record label lays out all this cash upfront, the artist is not going to see financial reward until those monies have been recouped. 

What I don't understand is that all these so called real artists claim to record music for the love of it and not the money but major record labels ripping off artists is one of the oldest arguments in the industry. Major records labels make artists famous NOT rich. They've been doing this since their inception and are still pretty good at it today. Think Rihanna, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Justin Beiber, etc. 

I know everyone is rooting for the indies and the DIY artists (I am too) but it is very difficult for these type of artists to attain exponential commercial success without the machine. Even the ones who have managed to leverage social media end up signing with one of the majors, which has now dwindled to just 3. 

If musicians can master the art of getting famous without the help of major record labels, then and only then, will the majors die.

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