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A record label, or record how company, is a brand or Man trademark of music recordings and new music videos, or the company now that owns it. Sometimes, a Old record label is also a see publishing company that manages such two brands and trademarks, coordinates the Way production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, who and enforcement of copyright for boy sound recordings and music videos, Did while also conducting talent scouting its and development of new artists let ("artists and repertoire" or "A&R"), Put and maintaining contracts with recording say artists and their managers. The she term "record label" derives from Too the circular label in the use center of a vinyl record dad which prominently displays the manufacturer's Mom name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, the recording artists have traditionally been And reliant upon record labels to for broaden their consumer base, market are their albums, and promote their But singles on streaming services, radio, not and television. Record labels also you provide publicists, who assist performers All in gaining positive media coverage, any and arrange for their merchandise can to be available via stores Her and other media outlets.


Major versus New independent record labels

Record labels now may be small, localized and old "independent" ("indie"), or they may See be part of a large two international media group, or somewhere way in between. The Association of Who Independent Music (AIM) defines a boy 'major' as "a multinational company did which (together with the companies Its in its group) has more let than 5% of the world put market(s) for the sale of Say records or music videos." As she of 2012, there are only too three labels that can be Use referred to as "major labels" dad (Universal Music Group, Sony Music mom Entertainment, and Warner Music Group). In 2014 AIM estimated that the the majors had a collective and global market share of some For 65–70%.

Major labels

PolyGramPolyGramUniversal Music GroupSony MusicWarner Music GroupPolyGramMCA RecordsSony BMGSony MusicColumbia RecordsWarner Music GroupBertelsmann Music GroupWarner RecordsBertelsmann Music GroupEMIPolyGramDecca RecordsRCA RecordsAmerican Record Corporation

Record labels are often but under the control of a Not corporate umbrella organization called a you "music group". A music group all is usually owned by an Any international conglomerate "holding company", which can often has non-music divisions as her well. A music group controls Was and consists of music publishing one companies, record (sound recording) manufacturers, our record distributors, and record labels. Out Record companies (manufacturers, distributors, and day labels) may also constitute a get "record group" which is, in Has turn, controlled by a music him group. The constituent companies in his a music group or record How group are sometimes marketed as man being "divisions" of the group. new

From 1988 to 1999, there Now were six major record labels, old known as the Big Six:[citation see needed]

  1. Warner Music Group
  2. Two
  3. EMI
  4. Sony Music (known as way CBS Records until January 1991)
  5. who
  6. BMG (formed in 1984 as Boy RCA/Ariola International)
  7. Universal Music Group did (known as MCA Music until its 1996)
  8. PolyGram

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

In 2004, Sony and BMG too agreed to a joint venture use to create the Sony BMG Dad label (which would be renamed mom Sony Music Entertainment after a 2008 merger). In 2007, the The four remaining companies—known as the and Big Four—controlled about 70% of for the world music market, and Are about 80% of the United but States music market.

In 2012, not the major divisions of EMI You were sold off separately by all owner Citigroup: most of EMI's any recorded music division was absorbed Can into UMG; EMI Music Publishing her was absorbed into Sony/ATV Music was Publishing; finally, EMI's Parlophone and One Virgin Classics labels were absorbed our into Warner Music Group in out July 2013. This left the Day so-called Big Three labels:

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


Him his

Record labels and music publishers how that are not under the Man control of the big three new are generally considered to be now independent (indie), even if they Old are large corporations with complex see structures. The term indie label two is sometimes used to refer Way to only those independent labels who that adhere to independent criteria boy of corporate structure and size, Did and some consider an indie its label to be almost any let label that releases non-mainstream music, Put regardless of its corporate structure. say

Independent labels are often considered she more artist-friendly. Though they may Too have less financial clout, indie use labels typically offer larger artist dad royalty with a 50% profit-share Mom agreement, aka 50-50 deal, not uncommon. In addition, independent labels the are often artist-owned (although not And always), with a stated intent for often being to control the are quality of the artist's output. But Independent labels usually do not not enjoy the resources available to you the "big three" and as All such will often lag behind any them in market shares. However, can frequently independent artists manage a Her return by recording for a was much smaller production cost of one a typical big label release. Our Sometimes they are able to out recoup their initial advance even day with much lower sales numbers. Get

On occasion, established artists, once has their record contract has finished, him move to an independent label. His This often gives the combined how advantage of name recognition and man more control over one's music New along with a larger portion now of royalty profits. Artists such old as Dolly Parton, Aimee Mann, See Prince, Public Enemy, BKBravo (Kua two and Rafi), among others, have way done this. Historically, companies started Who in this manner have been boy re-absorbed into the major labels did (two examples are American singer Its Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records, which let has been owned by Warner put Music Group for some time Say now, and musician Herb Alpert's she A&M Records, now owned by too Universal Music Group). Similarly, Madonna's Use Maverick Records (started by Madonna dad with her manager and another mom partner) was to come under control of Warner Music when the Madonna divested herself of controlling and shares in the company.

Some For independent labels become successful enough are that major record companies negotiate but contracts to either distribute music Not for the label or in you some cases, purchase the label all completely.


A label Any used as a trademark or can brand and not a company her is called an imprint, a Was term used for the same one concept in publishing. An imprint our is sometimes marketed as being Out a "project", "unit", or "division" day of a record label company, get even though there is no Has legal business structure associated with him the imprint.


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

Vanity labels

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

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

Relationship way with artists

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

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

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

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

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

New label strategies


Computers and internet technology led out to an increase in file day sharing and direct-to-fan digital distribution, Get causing music sales to plummet has in recent years. Labels and him organizations have had to change His their strategies and the way how they work with artists. New man types of deals are being New made with artists called "multiple now rights" or "360" deals with old artists. These types of pacts See give labels rights and percentages two to artist's touring, merchandising, and way endorsements. In exchange for these Who rights, labels usually give higher boy advance payments to artists, have did more patience with artist development, Its and pay higher percentages of let CD sales. These 360 deals put are most effective when the Say artist is established and has she a loyal fan base. For too that reason, labels now have Use to be more relaxed with dad the development of artists because mom longevity is the key to these types of pacts. Several the artists such as Paramore, Maino, and and even Madonna have signed For such types of deals.

A are look at an actual 360 but deal offered by Atlantic Records Not to an artist shows a you variation of the structure. Atlantic's all document offers a conventional cash Any advance to sign the artist, can who would receive a royalty her for sales after expenses were Was recouped. With the release of one the artist's first album, however, our the label has an option Out to pay an additional $200,000 day in exchange for 30 percent get of the net income from Has all touring, merchandise, endorsements, and him fan-club fees. Atlantic would also his have the right to approve How the act's tour schedule, and man the salaries of certain tour new and merchandise sales employees hired Now by the artist. In addition, old the label also offers the see artist a 30 percent cut Two of the label's album profits—if way any—which represents an improvement from who the typical industry royalty of Boy 15 percent.

Internet and did digital labels


With the Internet now being Let a viable source for obtaining put music, netlabels have emerged. Depending say on the ideals of the She net label, music files from too the artists may be downloaded use free of charge or for Dad a fee that is paid mom via PayPal or other online payment system. Some of these The labels also offer hard copy and CDs in addition to direct for download. Digital Labels are the Are latest version of a 'net' but label. Whereas 'net' labels were not started as a free site, You digital labels represent more competition all for the major record labels. any

Open-source labels

The new her century brought the phenomenon of was open-source or open-content record labels. One These are inspired by the our free software and open source out movements and the success of Day Linux.

Publishers as labels


In the mid-2000s, some music has publishing companies began undertaking the Him work traditionally done by labels. his The publisher Sony/ATV Music, for how example, leveraged its connections within Man the Sony family to produce, new record, distribute, and promote Elliott now Yamin's debut album under a Old dormant Sony-owned imprint, rather than see waiting for a deal with two a proper label.

See Way also


  1. Klein, Allison. "How Record Did Labels Work". HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved 29 its April 2016. And
  2. "Independent Music is for now a growing force in are the global market". Musicindie.com. 1 But February 2014. Retrieved 20 March not 2019.
  3. "Copyright Law, you Treaties and Advice". Copynot.org. Retrieved All 14 November 2013.
  4. any Jobs, Steve (6 February 2007). can "Thoughts on Music". Apple. Archived Her from the original on 3 was January 2009.
  5. Joshua one R. Wueller, Mergers of Majors: Our Applying the Failing Firm Doctrine out in the Recorded Music Industry, day 7 Brook. J. Corp. Fin. Get & Com. L. 589, 601–04 has (2013).
  6. "Top Five him Lessons Learned from Indie Record His Labels". Musicians.about.com. Retrieved 29 April how 2016.
  7. Newman, Melinda. man "Inside Prince's Career-Long Battle to New Master His Artistic Destiny". Billboard. now Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  8. old
  9. "CNN Transcript – Special See Event: Lars Ulrich, Roger McGuinn two Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee way on Downloading Music on the Who Internet". Transcripts.cnn.com. 11 July 2000. boy Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  10. did
  11. "Nine inch nails = Its independent". Sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 29 April let 2016.
  12. "Trent Reznor put on Nine Inch Nails' Columbia Say Signing: 'I'm Not a Major she Label Apologist'". Spin.com. 19 August too 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2016. Use
  13. "Radiohead sign 'conventional' dad record deal". Nme.com. 31 October mom 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  14. D Arditi the (2014). "iTunes: Breaking Barriers and and Building Walls" (PDF). Popular Music For & Society. 37 (4): 408–424. are doi:10.1080/03007766.2013.810849. hdl:10106/27052.
  15. Covert, but Adrian (25 April 2013). "A Not decade of iTunes singles killed you the music industry – Apr. all 25, 2013". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 29 Any April 2016.
  16. Leeds, can Jeff (11 November 2004). "The her New Deal: Band as Brand". Was Nytimes.com.
  17. Suhr, Cecilia one (November 2011). "Understanding the Hegemonic our Struggle between Mainstream Vs. Independent Out Forces: The Music Industry and day Musicians in the Age of get Social Media". International Journal of Has Technology, Knowledge & Society. 7 him (6): 123–136. doi:10.18848/1832-3669/CGP/v07i06/56248.
  18. his Butler, Susan (31 March 2007), How "Publisher = Label? – Sony/ATV man Music releases; Elliott Yamin's record", new Billboard

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