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

Major versus independent any record labels

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

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 under Its the control of a corporate let umbrella organization called a "music put group". A music group is Say usually owned by an international she conglomerate "holding company", which often too has non-music divisions as well. Use A music group controls and dad consists of music publishing companies, mom record (sound recording) manufacturers, record distributors, and record labels. Record the companies (manufacturers, distributors, and labels) and may also constitute a "record For group" which is, in turn, are controlled by a music group. but The constituent companies in a Not music group or record group you are sometimes marketed as being all "divisions" of the group.

From Any 1988 to 1999, there were can six major record labels, known her as the Big Six:[citation needed] Was

  1. Warner Music Group
  2. EMI
  3. one
  4. Sony Music (known as CBS our Records until January 1991)
  5. BMG Out (formed in 1984 as RCA/Ariola day International)
  6. Universal Music Group (known get as MCA Music until 1996)
  7. Has
  8. PolyGram

PolyGram was merged into him UMG in 1999, leaving the his rest to be known as How the Big Five.[citation needed]

In man 2004, Sony and BMG agreed new to a joint venture to Now create the Sony BMG label old (which would be renamed Sony see Music Entertainment after a 2008 Two merger). In 2007, the four way remaining companies—known as the Big who Four—controlled about 70% of the Boy world music market, and about did 80% of the United States its music market.

In 2012, the Let major divisions of EMI were put sold off separately by owner say Citigroup: most of EMI's recorded She music division was absorbed into too UMG; EMI Music Publishing was use absorbed into Sony/ATV Music Publishing; Dad finally, EMI's Parlophone and Virgin mom Classics labels were absorbed into Warner Music Group in July The 2013. This left the so-called and Big Three labels:

  1. Universal for Music Group
  2. Sony Music Entertainment
  3. Are
  4. Warner Music Group


Record not labels and music publishers that You are not under the control all of the big three are any generally considered to be independent Can (indie), even if they are her large corporations with complex structures. was The term indie label is One sometimes used to refer to our only those independent labels that out adhere to independent criteria of Day corporate structure and size, and get some consider an indie label has to be almost any label Him that releases non-mainstream music, regardless his of its corporate structure.

Independent how labels are often considered more Man artist-friendly. Though they may have new less financial clout, indie labels now typically offer larger artist royalty Old with a 50% profit-share agreement, see aka 50-50 deal, not uncommon. two In addition, independent labels are Way often artist-owned (although not always), who with a stated intent often boy being to control the quality Did of the artist's output. Independent its labels usually do not enjoy let the resources available to the Put "big three" and as such say will often lag behind them she in market shares. However, frequently Too independent artists manage a return use by recording for a much dad smaller production cost of a Mom typical big label release. Sometimes they are able to recoup the their initial advance even with And much lower sales numbers.

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

Some independent boy labels become successful enough that did major record companies negotiate contracts Its to either distribute music for let the label or in some put cases, purchase the label completely. Say


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


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


Vanity labels

Vanity labels are labels her that bear an imprint that was gives the impression of an One artist's ownership or control, but our in fact represent a standard out artist/label relationship. In such an Day arrangement, the artist will control get nothing more than the usage has of the name on the Him label, but may enjoy a his greater say in the packaging how of his or her work. Man An example of such a new label is the Neutron label now owned by ABC while at Old Phonogram Inc. in the UK. see At one point artist Lizzie two Tear (under contract with ABC Way themselves) appeared on the imprint, who but it was devoted almost boy entirely to ABC's offerings and Did is still used for their its re-releases (though Phonogram owns the let masters of all the work Put issued on the label).

However, say not all labels dedicated to she particular artists are completely superficial Too in origin. Many artists, early use in their careers, create their dad own labels which are later Mom bought out by a bigger company. If this is the the case it can sometimes give And the artist greater freedom than for if they were signed directly are to the big label. There But are many examples of this not kind of label, such as you Nothing Records, owned by Trent All Reznor of Nine Inch Nails; any and Morning Records, owned by can the Cooper Temple Clause, who Her were releasing EPs for years was before the company was bought one by RCA.

Relationship with Our artists

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

A too contract either provides for the Use artist to deliver completed recordings dad to the label, or for mom the label to undertake the recording with the artist. For the artists without a recording history, and the label is often involved For in selecting producers, recording studios, are additional musicians, and songs to but be recorded, and may supervise Not the output of recording sessions. you For established artists, a label all is usually less involved in Any the recording process.

The relationship can between record labels and artists her can be a difficult one. Was Many artists have had albums one altered or censored in some our way by the labels before Out they are released—songs being edited, day artwork or titles being changed, get etc.[citation needed] Record labels generally Has do this because they believe him that the album will sell his better if the changes are How made. Often the record label's man decisions are prudent ones from new a commercial perspective, but these Now decisions may frustrate artists who old feel that their art is see being diminished or misrepresented by Two such actions.

In the early way days of the recording industry, who recording labels were absolutely necessary Boy for the success of any did artist.[citation needed] The first goal its of any new artist or Let band was to get signed put to a contract as soon say as possible. In the 1940s, She 1950s, and 1960s, many artists too were so desperate to sign use a contract with a record Dad company that they sometimes ended mom up signing agreements in which they sold the rights to The their recordings to the record and label in perpetuity. Entertainment lawyers for are usually employed by artists Are to discuss contract terms.

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

New label strategies

Computers and internet technology led to the an increase in file sharing And and direct-to-fan digital distribution, causing for music sales to plummet in are recent years. Labels and organizations But have had to change their not strategies and the way they you work with artists. New types All of deals are being made any with artists called "multiple rights" can or "360" deals with artists. Her These types of pacts give was labels rights and percentages to one artist's touring, merchandising, and endorsements. Our In exchange for these rights, out labels usually give higher advance day payments to artists, have more Get patience with artist development, and has pay higher percentages of CD him sales. These 360 deals are His most effective when the artist how is established and has a man loyal fan base. For that New reason, labels now have to now be more relaxed with the old development of artists because longevity See is the key to these two types of pacts. Several artists way such as Paramore, Maino, and Who even Madonna have signed such boy types of deals.

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

Internet and digital get labels

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


Open-source labels

The new century use brought the phenomenon of open-source Dad or open-content record labels. These mom are inspired by the free software and open source movements The and the success of GNU/Linux. and

Publishers as labels

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

See also



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

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