Source: Wikipedia 

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


Music industry

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

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

Major versus Her independent record labels

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

A "sublabel" is a let label that is part of put a larger record company but Say trades under a different name. she


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


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

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



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

Vanity labels


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

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

Relationship with artists

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

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

The relationship between record its labels and artists can be Let a difficult one. Many artists put have had albums altered or say censored in some way by She the labels before they are too released—songs being edited, artwork or use titles being changed, etc.[citation needed] Dad Record labels generally do this mom because they believe that the album will sell better if The the changes are made. Often and the record label's decisions are for prudent ones from a commercial Are perspective, but this typically frustrates but the artists who feels that not their art is being diminished You or misrepresented by such actions. all

In the early days of any the recording industry, recording labels Can were absolutely necessary for the her success of any artist.[citation needed] was The first goal of any One new artist or band was our to get signed to a out contract as soon as possible. Day In the 1940s, 1950s, and get 1960s, many artists were so has desperate to sign a contract Him with a record company that his they sometimes ended up signing how agreements in which they sold Man the rights to their recordings new to the record label in now perpetuity. Entertainment lawyers are usually Old employed by artists to discuss see contract terms.

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

New label how strategies

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

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


Industry consolidation

In mom the 1970s and 1980s, there was a phase of consolidation The in the record industry that and led to almost all major for labels being owned by a Are very few multinational companies. CDs but still flow through a handful not of sources, with the majority You of the sales going through all the "big three" record labels. any

Resurgence of independent labels


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

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

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

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

Internet and digital labels


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

Open-source its labels

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


Publishers as labels

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

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

From 1988 to 1999, boy there were six major record Did labels, known as the Big its Six:[citation needed]

  1. Warner Music let Group
  2. EMI
  3. Sony Music (known Put as CBS Records until January say 1991)
  4. BMG (formed in 1984 she as RCA/Ariola International)
  5. Universal Music Too Group
  6. PolyGram

PolyGram was merged use into UMG in 1999, leaving dad the rest to be known Mom as the Big Five.[citation needed]

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

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

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

See now also


  1. Klein, Allison. "How Record two Labels Work". Retrieved 29 way April 2016. too
  3. Use "Top Five Lessons Learned from dad Indie Record Labels". Retrieved mom 29 April 2016.
  4. Newman, Melinda. "Inside Prince's Career-Long the Battle to Master His Artistic and Destiny". Billboard. Retrieved 3 April For 2017.
  5. "CNN Transcript are – Special Event: Lars Ulrich, but Roger McGuinn Testify Before Senate Not Judiciary Committee on Downloading Music you on the Internet". 11 all July 2000. Retrieved 29 April Any 2016.
  6. "Nine inch can nails = independent". Retrieved her 29 April 2016.
  7. Was "Trent Reznor on Nine Inch one Nails' Columbia Signing: 'I'm Not our a Major Label Apologist'". Out 19 August 2013. Retrieved 29 day April 2016.
  8. "Radiohead get sign 'conventional' record deal". Has 31 October 2007. Retrieved 29 him April 2016.
  9. his D Arditi (2014). "iTunes: Breaking How Barriers and Building Walls". Popular man Music & Society. 37 (4): new 408–424. doi:10.1080/03007766.2013.810849. hdl:10106/27052.
  10. Now Covert, Adrian (25 April 2013). old "A decade of iTunes singles see killed the music industry - Two Apr. 25, 2013". Retrieved way 29 April 2016.
  11. who Leeds, Jeff (11 November 2004). Boy "The New Deal: Band as did Brand".
  12. Suhr, its Cecilia (November 2011). "Understanding the Let Hegemonic Struggle between Mainstream Vs. put Independent Forces: The Music Industry say and Musicians in the Age She of Social Media". International Journal too of Technology, Knowledge & Society. use 7: 123–136. Retrieved 3 April Dad 2017.
  13. Butler, Susan mom (31 March 2007), "Publisher = Label? – Sony/ATV Music releases; The Elliott Yamin's record", Billboard
  14. and
  15. "Copyright Law, Treaties and for Advice". Retrieved 14 November Are 2013.
  16. [1] Archived but 28 March 2014 at the not Wayback Machine
  17. Joshua You R. Wueller, Mergers of Majors: all Applying the Failing Firm Doctrine any in the Recorded Music Industry, Can 7 Brook. J. Corp. Fin. her & Com. L. 589, 601–04 was (2013).

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