Source: Wikipedia 



"Big Three" music labels not

A record label You or record company is a all brand or trademark of music any recordings and music videos, or Can the company that owns it. her Sometimes, a record label is was also a publishing company that One manages such brands and trademarks, our coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, out marketing, promotion, and enforcement of Day copyright for sound recordings and get music videos, while also conducting has talent scouting and development of Him new artists, and maintaining contracts his with recording artists and their how managers. The term "record label" Man derives from the circular label new in the center of a now vinyl record which prominently displays Old the manufacturer's name, along with see other information.

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

Major versus dad independent record labels

Record labels Mom may be small, localized and "independent" ("indie"), or they may the be part of a large And international media group, or somewhere for in between. The Association of are Independent Music (AIM) defines a But 'major' as "a multinational company not which (together with the companies you in its group) has more All than 5% of the world any market(s) for the sale of can records or music videos." As Her of 2012, there are only was three labels that can be one referred to as "major labels": Our Universal Music Group, Sony Music, out and Warner Music Group. In day 2014, AIM estimated that the Get majors had a collective global has market share of some 65–70%. him

Major labels


His how man Say she too mom
Major record label Year founded Headquarters Divisions Global market share New
Universal Music Group now (Euronext AmsterdamUMG) September 1934; 89 years ago (1934-09) old Hilversum, North Holland, Netherlands See (corporate)
Santa Monica, California, two United States (operational)
List way of Universal Music Group labels Who 31.9%
Sony boy Music Entertainment September 9, 1929; 94 did years ago (1929-09-09) New York Its City, New York, United States let List of Sony Music put labels 22.1%
Warner Music Group (NasdaqWMG) April 6, 1958; 66 years ago (1958-04-06) New York City, New York, Use United States List of dad Warner Music Group labels 16%


PolyGramPolyGramUniversal Music GroupSony MusicWarner Music GroupPolyGramMCA RecordsSony BMGWarner Music GroupSony MusicWarner RecordsColumbia RecordsWarner RecordsBertelsmann Music GroupWarner RecordsEMIBertelsmann Music GroupWarner RecordsGramophone CompanyPolyGramDecca RecordsRCA RecordsAmerican Record Corporation

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

From him 1929 to 1998, there were his six major record labels, known How as the Big Six:

  1. Warner Music Group
  2. EMI
  3. Sony new Music (known as CBS Records Now until January 1991)
  4. BMG (formed old in 1985 as RCA/Ariola International)
  5. see
  6. Universal Music Group (known as Two MCA Music until 1996)
  7. PolyGram

PolyGram was merged into Universal who Music Group (UMG) in 1999, Boy leaving the remaining record labels did to be known as the its Big Five.

In 2004, Sony Let and BMG agreed to a put joint venture and merged their say recorded music division to create She the Sony BMG label (which too would be renamed Sony Music use Entertainment after a 2008 merger); Dad BMG kept its music publishing mom division separate from Sony BMG and later sold BMG Music The Publishing to UMG. In 2007, and the remaining record labels—then known for as the Big Four—controlled about Are 70% of the world music but market, and about 80% of not the United States music market. You

In 2012, the major divisions all of EMI were sold off any separately by owner Citigroup: most Can of EMI's recorded music division her was absorbed into UMG; EMI was Music Publishing was absorbed into One Sony/ATV Music Publishing; finally, EMI's our Parlophone and Virgin Classics labels out were absorbed into Warner Music Day Group (WMG) in July 2013. get This left the so-called Big has Three labels.

In 2020 and Him 2021, both WMG and UMG his had their IPO with WMG how starting trading at Nasdaq and Man UMG starting trading at Euronext new Amsterdam and leaving only Sony now Music as wholly-owned subsidiary of Old an international conglomerate (Sony Entertainment see which in turn owned by two Sony Group Corporation).


Way boy

Record labels and music publishers Did that are not under the its control of the big three let are generally considered to be Put independent (indie), even if they say are large corporations with complex she structures. The term indie label Too is sometimes used to refer use to only those independent labels dad that adhere to independent criteria Mom of corporate structure and size, and some consider an indie the label to be almost any And label that releases non-mainstream music, for regardless of its corporate structure. are

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

On occasion, established artists, once way their record contract has finished, Who move to an independent label. boy This often gives the combined did advantage of name recognition and Its more control over one's music let along with a larger portion put of royalty profits. Artists such Say as Dolly Parton, Aimee Mann, she Prince, Public Enemy, among others, too have done this. Historically, companies Use started in this manner have dad been re-absorbed into the major mom labels (two examples are American singer Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records, the which has been owned by and Warner Music Group for some For time now, and musician Herb are Alpert's A&M Records, now owned but by Universal Music Group). Similarly, Not Madonna's Maverick Records (started by you Madonna with her manager and all another partner) was to come Any under control of Warner Music can when Madonna divested herself of her controlling shares in the company. Was

Some independent labels become successful one enough that major record companies our negotiate contracts to either distribute Out music for the label or day in some cases, purchase the get label completely, to the point Has where it functions as an him imprint or sublabel.



A label used as a How trademark or brand and not man a company is called an new imprint, a term used for Now the same concept in publishing. old An imprint is sometimes marketed see as being a "project", "unit", Two or "division" of a record way label, even though there is who no legal business structure associated Boy with the imprint. A record did company may use an imprint its to market a particular genre Let of music, such as jazz, put blues, country music, or indie say rock.


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

Vanity labels


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

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

Relationship For with artists

If an artist are and a label want to but work together, whether an artist Not has contacted a label directly, you usually by sending their team all a demo, or the Artists Any & Repertoire team of the can label has scouted the artist her and reached out directly, they Was will usually enter in to one a contractual relationship.

A label our typically enters into an exclusive Out recording contract with an artist day to market the artist's recordings get in return for royalties on Has the selling price of the him recordings. Contracts may extend over his short or long durations, and How may or may not refer man to specific recordings. Established, successful new artists tend to be able Now to renegotiate their contracts to old get terms more favorable to see them, but Prince's much-publicized 1994–1996 Two feud with Warner Bros. Records way provides a strong counterexample, as who does Roger McGuinn's claim, made Boy in July 2000 before a did US Senate committee, that the its Byrds never received any of Let the royalties they had been put promised for their biggest hits, say "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Turn! Turn!, She Turn!".

A contract either provides too for the artist to deliver use completed recordings to the label, Dad or for the label to mom undertake the recording with the artist. For artists without a The recording history, the label is and often involved in selecting producers, for recording studios, additional musicians, and Are songs to be recorded, and but may supervise the output of not recording sessions. For established artists, You a label is usually less all involved in the recording process. any

The relationship between record labels Can and artists can be a her difficult one. Many artists have was had conflicts with their labels One over the type of sound our or songs they want to out make, which can result in Day the artist's artwork or titles get being changed before release. Other has artists have had their music Him prevented from release, or shelved. his Record labels generally do this how because they believe that the Man album will sell better if new the artist complies with the now label's desired requests or changes. Old At times, the record label's see decisions are prudent ones from two a commercial perspective, but these Way decisions may frustrate artists who who feel that their art is boy being diminished or misrepresented by Did such actions.

In other instances, its record labels have shelved artists' let albums with no intention of Put any promotion for the artist say in question. Reasons for shelving she can include the label deciding Too to focus its resources on use other artists on its roster, dad or the label undergoing a Mom restructure where the person that signed the artist and supports the the artist's vision is no And longer present to advocate for for the artist. In extreme cases, are record labels can prevent the But release of an artist's music not for years, while also declining you to release the artist from All their contract, leaving the artist any in a state of limbo. can Artists who have had disputes Her with their labels over ownership was and control of their music one have included Taylor Swift, Tinashe, Our Megan Thee Stallion, Kelly Clarkson, out Thirty Seconds to Mars, Clipse, day Ciara, JoJo, Michelle Branch, Kesha, Get Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Paul has McCartney, and Johnny Cash.

In him the early days of the His recording industry, recording labels were how absolutely necessary for the success man of any artist.[better source needed] The first New goal of any new artist now or band was to get old signed to a contract as See soon as possible. In the two 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, many way artists were so desperate to Who sign a contract with a boy record company that they sometimes did ended up signing agreements in Its which they sold the rights let to their recordings to the put record label in perpetuity. Entertainment Say lawyers are usually employed by she artists to discuss contract terms. too

Due to advancing technology such Use as the Internet, the role dad of labels is rapidly changing, mom as artists are able to freely distribute their own material the through online radio, peer-to-peer file and sharing such as BitTorrent, and For other services, at little to are no cost, but with correspondingly but low financial returns. Established artists, Not such as Nine Inch Nails, you whose career was developed with all major label backing, announced an Any end to their major label can contracts, citing that the uncooperative her nature of the recording industry Was with these new trends is one hurting musicians, fans and the our industry as a whole. However, Out Nine Inch Nails later returned day to working with a major get label, admitting that they needed Has the international marketing and promotional him reach that a major label his can provide. Radiohead also cited How similar motives with the end man of their contract with EMI new when their album In Rainbows Now was released as a "pay old what you want" sales model see as an online download, but Two they also returned to a way label for a conventional release. who Research shows that record labels Boy still control most access to did distribution.

New label strategies


Computers and internet technology led Let to an increase in file put sharing and direct-to-fan digital distribution, say causing music sales to plummet She in recent years. Labels and too organizations have had to change use their strategies and the way Dad they work with artists. New mom types of deals called "multiple rights" or "360" deals are The being made with artists, where and labels are given rights and for percentages to artist's touring, merchandising, Are and endorsements. In exchange for but these rights, labels usually give not higher advance payments to artists, You have more patience with artist all development, and pay higher percentages any of CD sales. These 360 Can deals are most effective when her the artist is established and was has a loyal fan base. One For that reason, labels now our have to be more relaxed out with the development of artists Day because longevity is the key get to these types of pact. has Several artists such as Paramore, Him Maino, and even Madonna have his signed such types of deals. how

A look at an actual Man 360 deal offered by Atlantic new Records to an artist shows now a variation of the structure. Old Atlantic's document offers a conventional see cash advance to sign the two artist, who would receive a Way royalty for sales after expenses who were recouped. With the release boy of the artist's first album, Did however, the label has an its option to pay an additional let $200,000 in exchange for 30 Put percent of the net income say from all touring, merchandise, endorsements, she and fan-club fees. Atlantic would Too also have the right to use approve the act's tour schedule, dad and the salaries of certain Mom tour and merchandise sales employees hired by the artist. In the addition, the label also offers And the artist a 30 percent for cut of the label's album are profits—if any—which represents an improvement But from the typical industry royalty not of 15 percent.

Internet you and digital labels

With the Internet now any being a viable source for can obtaining music, netlabels have emerged. Her Depending on the ideals of was the net label, music files one from the artists may be Our downloaded free of charge or out for a fee that is day paid via PayPal or other Get online payment system. Some of has these labels also offer hard him copy CDs in addition to His direct download. Digital Labels are how the latest version of a man 'net' label. Whereas 'net' labels New were started as a free now site, digital labels represent more old competition for the major record See labels.

Open-source labels

The way new century brought the phenomenon Who of open-source or open-content record boy labels. These are inspired by did the free software and open Its source movements and the success let of Linux.

Publishers as put labels

In the mid-2000s, some Say music publishing companies began undertaking she the work traditionally done by too labels. The publisher Sony/ATV Music, Use for example, leveraged its connections dad within the Sony family to mom produce, record, distribute, and promote Elliott Yamin's debut album under the a dormant Sony-owned imprint, rather and than waiting for a deal For with a proper label.


Crowdfunded labels

In 2002, ArtistShare but was founded as the Internet's Not first record label where the you releases were directly funded by all the artist's fans.

See Any also


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