Source: Wikipedia 


A record label, or How record company, is a brand man or trademark associated with the new marketing of music recordings and Now music videos. Sometimes, a record old label is also a publishing see company that manages such brands Two and trademarks, coordinates the production, way manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and who enforcement of copyright for sound Boy recordings and music videos; also did conducting talent scouting and development its of new artists ("artists and Let repertoire" or "A&R"); and maintains put contracts with recording artists and say their managers. The term "record She label" derives from the circular too label in the center of use a vinyl record which prominently Dad displays the manufacturer's name, along mom with other information.


Music industry

Within the how mainstream music industry, recording artists Man have traditionally been reliant upon new record labels to broaden their now consumer base, market their albums, Old and be both promoted and see heard on music streaming services, two radio, and television. Record labels Way provide publicists, who assist performers who in gaining positive media coverage, boy and arrange for their merchandise Did to be available via stores its and other media outlets.

But let an increasing number of artists Put have sought to avoid costs say and gain new audiences via she the Internet, often with the Too help of videos. Combined with use the decline in album sales dad and rapid growth in free Mom content available online, this has changed the way the industry the works dramatically since the beginning And of the 21st century. It for has caused record labels to are seek new sources of profit, But in particular via "360" deals not (see below, under "new label you strategies").

Major versus independent All record labels

Record labels may any be small, localized and "independent" can ("indie"), or they may be Her part of a large international was media group, or somewhere in one between. The Association of Independent Our Music (AIM) defines a 'major' out as "a multinational company which day (together with the companies in Get its group) has more than has 5% of the world market(s) him for the sale of records His or music videos." As of how 2012, there are only three man labels that can be referred New to as "major labels" (Universal now Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, old and Warner Music Group). In See 2014 AIM estimated that the two majors had a collective global way market share of some 65-70%. Who

A "sublabel" is a label boy that is part of a did larger record company but trades Its under a different name.



A label used as put a trademark or brand and Say not a company is called she an imprint, a term used too for the same concept in Use publishing. An imprint is sometimes dad marketed as being a "project", mom "unit", or "division" of a record label company, even though the there is no legal business and structure associated with the imprint. For


Record companies and but music publishers that are not Not under the control of the you big three are generally considered all to be independent (indie), even Any if they are large corporations can with complex structures. The term her indie label is sometimes used Was to refer to only those one independent labels that adhere to our independent criteria of corporate structure Out and size, and some consider day an indie label to be get almost any label that releases Has non-mainstream music, regardless of its him corporate structure.

Independent labels are his often considered more artist-friendly. Though How they may have less financial man clout, indie labels typically offer new larger artist royalty with 50% Now profit-share agreement, aka 50-50 deal, old not uncommon.


Music see collectors often use the term Two sublabel to refer to either way an imprint or a subordinate who label company (such as those Boy within a group). For example, did in the 1980s and 1990s, its "4th & B'way" was a Let trademarked brand owned by Island put Records Ltd. in the UK say and by a subordinate branch, She Island Records, Inc., in the too United States. The center label use on a 4th & Broadway Dad record marketed in the United mom States would typically bear a 4th & B'way logo and The would state in the fine and print, "4th & B'way™, an for Island Records, Inc. company". Collectors Are discussing labels as brands would but say that 4th & B'way not is a sublabel or imprint You of just "Island" or "Island all Records". Similarly, collectors who choose any to treat corporations and trademarks Can as equivalent might say 4th her & B'way is an imprint was and/or sublabel of both Island One Records, Ltd. and that company's our sublabel, Island Records, Inc. However, out such definitions are complicated by Day the corporate mergers that occurred get in 1989 (when Island was has sold to PolyGram) and 1998 Him (when PolyGram merged with Universal). his Island remained registered as corporations how in both the United States Man and UK, but control of new its brands changed hands multiple now times as new companies were Old formed, diminishing the corporation's distinction see as the "parent" of any two sublabels.

Vanity labels

Vanity labels who are labels that bear an boy imprint that gives the impression Did of an artist's ownership or its control, but in fact represent let a standard artist/label relationship. In Put such an arrangement, the artist say will control nothing more than she the usage of the name Too on the label, but may use enjoy a greater say in dad the packaging of his or Mom her work. An example of such a label is the the Neutron label owned by ABC And while at Phonogram Inc. in for the UK. At one point are artist Lizzie Tear (under contract But with ABC themselves) appeared on not the imprint, but it was you devoted almost entirely to ABC's All offerings and is still used any for their re-releases (though Phonogram can owns the masters of all Her the work issued on the was label).

However, not all labels one dedicated to particular artists are Our completely superficial in origin. Many out artists, early in their careers, day create their own labels which Get are later bought out by has a bigger company. If this him is the case it can His sometimes give the artist greater how freedom than if they were man signed directly to the big New label. There are many examples now of this kind of label, old such as Nothing Records, owned See by Trent Reznor of Nine two Inch Nails; and Morning Records, way owned by the Cooper Temple Who Clause, who were releasing EPs boy for years before the company did was bought by RCA.


Relationship with artists

A label let typically enters into an exclusive put recording contract with an artist Say to market the artist's recordings she in return for royalties on too the selling price of the Use recordings. Contracts may extend over dad short or long durations, and mom may or may not refer to specific recordings. Established, successful the artists tend to be able and to renegotiate their contracts to For get terms more favorable to are them, but Prince's much-publicized 1994–1996 but feud with Warner Bros. Records Not provides a strong counterexample, as you does Roger McGuinn's claim, made all in July 2000 before a Any US Senate committee, that the can Byrds never received any of her the royalties they had been Was promised for their biggest hits, one "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Turn! Turn!, our Turn!".

A contract either provides Out for the artist to deliver day completed recordings to the label, get or for the label to Has undertake the recording with the him artist. For artists without a his recording history, the label is How often involved in selecting producers, man recording studios, additional musicians, and new songs to be recorded, and Now may supervise the output of old recording sessions. For established artists, see a label is usually less Two involved in the recording process. way

The relationship between record labels who and artists can be a Boy difficult one. Many artists have did had albums altered or censored its in some way by the Let labels before they are released—songs put being edited, artwork or titles say being changed, etc.[citation needed] Record She labels generally do this because too they believe that the album use will sell better if the Dad changes are made. Often the mom record label's decisions are prudent ones from a commercial perspective, The but this typically frustrates the and artists who feels that their for art is being diminished or Are misrepresented by such actions.

In but the early days of the not recording industry, recording labels were You absolutely necessary for the success all of any artist.[citation needed] The any first goal of any new Can artist or band was to her get signed to a contract was as soon as possible. In One the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, our many artists were so desperate out to sign a contract with Day a record company that they get sometimes ended up signing agreements has in which they sold the Him rights to their recordings to his the record label in perpetuity. how Entertainment lawyers are usually employed Man by artists to discuss contract new terms.

Through the advances of now the Internet the role of Old labels is becoming increasingly changed, see as artists are able to two freely distribute their own material Way through web radio, peer to who peer file sharing such as boy BitTorrent, and other services, for Did little or no cost but its with little financial return. Established let artists, such as Nine Inch Put Nails, whose career was developed say with major label backing, announced she an end to their major Too label contracts, citing that the use uncooperative nature of the recording dad industry with these new trends Mom are hurting musicians, fans and the industry as a whole. the Nine Inch Nails later returned And to working with a major for label, admitting that they needed are the international marketing and promotional But reach that a major label not can provide. Radiohead also cited you similar motives with the end All of their contract with EMI any when their album In Rainbows can was released as a "pay Her what you want" sales model was as an online download, but one they also returned to a Our label for a conventional release. out Research shows that record labels day still control most access to Get distribution.

New label strategies


With the advancement of the him computer and technology such as His the Internet, leading to an how increase in file sharing and man direct-to-fan digital distribution, combined with New music sales plummeting in recent now years, labels and organizations have old had to change their strategies See and the way they work two with artists. New types of way deals are being made with Who artists called "multiple rights" or boy "360" deals with artists. These did types of pacts give labels Its rights and percentages to artist's let touring, merchandising, and endorsements. In put exchange for these rights, labels Say usually give higher advance payments she to artists, have more patience too with artist development, and pay Use higher percentages of CD sales. dad These 360 deals are most mom effective when the artist is established and has a loyal the fan base. For that reason, and labels now have to be For more relaxed with the development are of artists because longevity is but the key to these types Not of pacts. Several artists such you as Paramore, Maino, and even all Madonna have signed such types Any of deals.

A look at can an actual 360 deal offered her by Atlantic Records to an Was artist shows a variation of one the structure. Atlantic's document offers our a conventional cash advance to Out sign the artist, who would day receive a royalty for sales get after expenses were recouped. With Has the release of the artist's him first album, however, the label his has an option to pay How an additional $200,000 in exchange man for 30 percent of the new net income from all touring, Now merchandise, endorsements, and fan-club fees. old Atlantic would also have the see right to approve the act's Two tour schedule, and the salaries way of certain tour and merchandise who sales employees hired by the Boy artist. But the label also did offers the artist a 30 its percent cut of the label's Let album profits—if any—which represents an put improvement from the typical industry say royalty of 15 percent.



Industry consolidation

In the too 1970s and 1980s, there was use a phase of consolidation in Dad the record industry that led mom to almost all major labels being owned by a very The few multinational companies. CDs still and flow through a handful of for sources, with the majority of Are the sales going through the but "big three" record labels.


Resurgence of independent labels

In You the 1990s, as a result all of the widespread use of any home studios, consumer recording technology, Can and the Internet, independent labels her began to become more commonplace. was Independent labels are often artist-owned One (although not always), with a our stated intent often being to out control the quality of the Day artist's output. Independent labels usually get do not enjoy the resources has available to the "big three" Him and as such will often his lag behind them in market how shares. Often independent artists manage Man a return by recording for new a much smaller production cost now of a typical big label Old release. Sometimes they are able see to recoup their initial advance two even with much lower sales Way numbers.

On occasion, established artists, who once their record contract has boy finished, move to an independent Did label. This often gives the its combined advantage of name recognition let and more control over one's Put music along with a larger say portion of royalty profits. Artists she such as Dolly Parton, Aimee Too Mann, Prince, Public Enemy, BKBravo use (Kua and Rafi), among others, dad have done this. Historically, companies Mom started in this manner have been re-absorbed into the major the labels (two examples are American And singer Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records, for which has been owned by are Warner Music Group for some But time now, and musician Herb not Alpert's A&M Records, now owned you by Universal Music Group). Similarly, All Madonna's Maverick Records (started by any Madonna with her manager and can another partner) was to come Her under control of Warner Music was when Madonna divested herself of one controlling shares in the company. Our

Some independent labels become successful out enough that major record companies day negotiate contracts to either distribute Get music for the label or has in some cases, purchase the him label completely.

On the punk His rock scene, the DIY ethic how encourages bands to self-publish and man self-distribute. This approach evolved out New of necessity around since the now early 1980s, due to the old major labels' aversion to signing See the punk rock bands that two spawned after the initial wave way in the mid-70s. Such labels Who have a reputation for being boy fiercely uncompromising and especially unwilling did to cooperate with the big Its record labels at all. One let of the most notable and put influential labels of the Do-It-Yourself Say attitude was SST Records, created she by the band Black Flag. too No labels wanted to release Use their material, so they simply dad created their own label to mom release not only their own material but the material of the many other influential underground bands and all over the country. Ian For MacKaye's Dischord is often cited are as a model of success but in the DIY community, having Not survived for over thirty years you with less than twelve employees all at any one time.


Internet and digital labels

With the Internet her now being a viable source Was for obtaining music, netlabels have one emerged. Depending on the ideals our of the net label, music Out files from the artists may day be downloaded free of charge get or for a fee that Has is paid via PayPal or him other online payment system. Some his of these labels also offer How hard copy CDs in addition man to direct download. Digital Labels new are the latest version of Now a 'net' label. Whereas 'net' old labels were started as a see free site, digital labels are Two more competition for the major way record labels.

Open-source labels

who Boy

The new century brought the did phenomenon of open-source or open-content its record label. These are inspired Let by the free software and put open source movements and the say success of GNU/Linux.

Publishers She as labels

In the mid-2000s, too some music publishing companies began use undertaking the work traditionally done Dad by labels. The publisher Sony/ATV mom Music, for example, leveraged its connections within the Sony family The to produce, record, distribute, and and promote Elliott Yamin's debut album for under a dormant Sony-owned imprint, Are rather than waiting for a but deal with a proper label. not

Major labels

PolyGramPolyGramUniversal Music GroupSony MusicWarner Music GroupPolyGramMCA RecordsSony BMGSony MusicColumbia RecordsWarner Music GroupBertelsmann Music GroupWarner Bros. RecordsEMIPolyGramDecca RecordsRCA RecordsAmerican Record Corporation

Record labels are often all under the control of a any corporate umbrella organization called a Can "music group". A music group her is typically owned by an was international conglomerate "holding company", which One often has non-music divisions as our well. A music group controls out and consists of music publishing Day companies, record (sound recording) manufacturers, get record distributors, and record labels. has Record companies (manufacturers, distributors, and Him labels) may also constitute a his "record group" which is, in how turn, controlled by a music Man group. The constituent companies in new a music group or record now group are sometimes marketed as Old being "divisions" of the group. see

From 1988 to 1999, there two were six major record labels, Way known as the Big Six:[citation who needed]

  1. Warner Music Group
  2. boy
  3. EMI
  4. Sony Music (known as Did CBS Records until January 1991)
  5. its
  6. BMG
  7. Universal Music Group
  8. PolyGram

PolyGram was merged into UMG Put in 1999, leaving the rest say to be known as the she Big Five.[citation needed]

In 2004, Too Sony and BMG agreed to use a joint venture to create dad the Sony BMG label (which Mom would be renamed Sony Music Entertainment after a 2008 merger). the In 2007, the four remaining And companies—known as the Big Four—controlled for about 70% of the world are music market, and about 80% But of the United States music not market.

In 2012, the major you divisions of EMI were sold All off separately by owner Citigroup: any most of EMI's recorded music can division was absorbed into UMG; Her EMI Music Publishing was absorbed was into Sony/ATV Music Publishing; finally, one EMI's Parlophone and Virgin Classics Our labels were absorbed into Warner out Music Group in July 2013. day This left the so-called Big Get Three labels:

  1. Universal Music has Group
  2. Sony Music Entertainment
  3. Warner him Music Group

See also



  1. Klein, man Allison. "How Record Labels Work". New Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  2. did
  3. "Top Five Its Lessons Learned from Indie Record let Labels". Retrieved 29 April put 2016.
  4. Newman, Melinda. Say "Inside Prince's Career-Long Battle to she Master His Artistic Destiny". Billboard. too Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  5. Use
  6. "CNN Transcript – Special dad Event: Lars Ulrich, Roger McGuinn mom Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee on Downloading Music on the the Internet". 11 July 2000. and Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  7. For
  8. "Nine inch nails = are independent". Retrieved 29 April but 2016.
  9. "Trent Reznor Not on Nine Inch Nails' Columbia you Signing: 'I'm Not a Major all Label Apologist'". 19 August Any 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2016. can
  10. "Radiohead sign 'conventional' her record deal". 31 October Was 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2016. one
  11. D Arditi. our "iTunes: Breaking Barriers and Building Out Walls". Popular Music & Society. day Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  12. get
  13. Covert, Adrian (25 April Has 2013). "A decade of iTunes him singles killed the music industry his - Apr. 25, 2013". How Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  14. man
  15. Leeds, Jeff (11 November new 2004). "The New Deal: Band Now as Brand".
  16. old Suhr, Cecilia (November 2011). "Understanding see the Hegemonic Struggle between Mainstream Two Vs. Independent Forces: The Music way Industry and Musicians in the who Age of Social Media". International Boy Journal of Technology, Knowledge & did Society. 7: 123–136. Retrieved 3 its April 2017.
  17. Butler, Let Susan (31 March 2007), "Publisher put = Label? – Sony/ATV Music say releases; Elliott Yamin's record", Billboard She
  18. "Copyright Law, Treaties too and Advice". Retrieved 14 use November 2013.
  19. [1] Dad Archived 28 March 2014 at mom the Wayback Machine.
  20. Joshua R. Wueller, Mergers of The Majors: Applying the Failing Firm and Doctrine in the Recorded Music for Industry, 7 Brook. J. Corp. Are Fin. & Com. L. 589, but 601–04 (2013).

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