The Label Artist Leverage Shift

May 5, 2019 at 10:35am12:00pm
Music Biz 2019; Powered by the Music Business Association
JW Marriott Nashville

201 8th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203

Once upon a time and barely 20 years ago, there was really only one way to get music heard—through a label. Because a label had proprietary manufacturing and distribution systems, priority relationships to get the record made and promoted, the exclusive use of professional personnel, and the only pockets deep enough to launch an artist over the very high barrier to entry. As a result of that reality, artists had little to no leverage and barely any choice—and the deals reflected the reality that something was better than nothing.  But, that was then. Now, none of this remains true. Technology, innovation and entrepreneurship have created a plentitude of options. Recording can be done in your house with some software. Videos can be created and posted on an iPhone. Manufacturing is hardly a concern for most. The professional personnel are now consultants and available for anyone’s hire. Distribution options are abundant. Money can be attained through crowdfunding and as a result-artists now have the ability to launch themselves over the threshold without any kind of label.  All of this calls into question the role of a label and the justification of their split of the pie. It has artists’ asking themselves why they should sign with a label at all and labels’ thinking about what more they can offer to artists to bridge the ever-widening leverage shift between them.

*Please note there is a cost to attend this event.