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Independent Record Labels and the Changing Times

A lot has been written about the record labels and independent record labels over the last few years and if you’re like me who’s passionate about these topics,  chances are we’ve heard the same thing: That the music industry is doomed for extinction. They show us statistics of poor CD sales and tell us that we should change our gears and move out before we lose everything we have.

I am on the phone every day with independent record labels and a lot of them moan and groan that“ the business is dead”. It is awful and depressing. I totally agree that the business we are in is changing and it’s changing really, really fast. If you are not keeping up with it, you are going to be swept up and there will be nothing left of you.

But to these people who are proclaiming the end and how awful it is, here’s my request: Please Shut the hell up. You sound like whiny school children who just had their sweeties taken away from them. I mean please grow a set.  What industry hasn’t changed? What industry isn’t being affected by new technology?

Go talk to authors, book manufactures, and see how they feel. Jeez.

Let’s be clear. If you are currently running a label or if you are thinking of running a label soon, I hope you are getting into it mainly for passion because if you’re not passionate about it, you are insane. If you’re not yet insane, then you will be, for sure.

Of course, passion alone is not going to make it-I am not a hypocrite-Music Business is still business. You have to have some marketing understanding with you, online advertising knowledge, business know-how, etc or else you’d get burned out and your passion would eventually die out.

I guess what I am trying to say is that you have to love it so much, so much that you’re willing to lose a few dollars, because you want what you are doing and you believe that all the hardships will pay off eventually. At the end of the day, the music is 100% where you need to start. If that sucks from the get go, then it’s doomed.

On top of that, I think if you are not in some type of niche music scene, then things are going to be tough for you. Not to say it cannot be done but it would not be easy. I believe the future of the record label is in Branding. Branding the label itself. I can’t think of anything more important than the label itself having a strong brand behind them. Think of the following labels

These are labels that have branded themselves as a great source for people to find great music. These labels have been and will be the future of record labels and Independent record labels. They have done it through finding great talent and great marketing. Not all of you are going to find the next Nirvana or the Prodigy but I feel that with the web , a decent looking logo, awesome packaging , a bold statement about what you stand for and a well structured wordpress/website,  you can’t go wrong.

If you can be the online source that the general public can come to because they know they are going to find great music and they like you and what you seem to stand for, then you are on your way. Of course, this does not happen overnight. Do not expect too much happening too soon but keep doing what you’re doing. Even if they say that you’re crazy for sticking to a dying industry, even if you are losing a few dollars now and then, but with commitment, good knowledge, and passion, it’s impossible for you to fail.

The future of Record labels

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