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Label of the future?

Michael MacLennan

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From NME.com:


WARNER is setting up a revolutionary new record label.

The music giants are getting ready to launch the e-label which will do away with CDs in favour of releasing a small numbers of tracks at a time to be known as clusters only on the internet.

New bands and artists will be signed to the label without the pressures or costs of recording, manufacturing and distributing full albums.

Warner chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr said: Our most important job is to work with artists and help them hone their craft.

Bronfman said that too many young artists were being dropped when their first albums did not sell enough copies.

He explained: While the old system allowed an artist time to develop and grow, today's business is such that an initial commercial failure for most artists means they no longer get a second chance."

Bronfman added that artists are less likely to be dropped by the e-label before they reach their full potential and Warner will be able to track which artists become fan favourites.

He said: "At this new label, an artist can develop in a supportive, lower-risk environment. An artist is not required to have enough material for an album, only just enough to excite our ears.

"Rather than releasing an album every couple of years, every few months the label will release 'clusters' - three or more songs - by an artist. And, finally, and perhaps most revolutionary, artists retain ownership of their masters and copyrights while signed to this label, Bronfman added.

According to BBC News, Bronfman said that Warner were excited by the power of digital distribution now available to every potential artist. We see our mission as not to control the means by which artists' voices are heard, but to amplify those voices.

He continued: And the more those voices are amplified and distributed through more and more channels, the more we empower consumers to make emotional connections to the artists and music they most want to hear."

The chairman said that the e-labels success would be measured by our ability to identify and develop powerful creative voices.

"As a music company, we also understand that our ultimate success lies not in preventing people from getting what they want but in providing it to them in new and exciting ways.


I mean, obviously there's scepticism regarding it being a major label involved, but apart from that this is the sort of way I imagined things going. Artists retaining copyright, perhaps smaller but more frequent releases (I've always planned on only releasing EPs as Popcorn Fiend), cutting down on the costs that makes promoting new artists so expensive, and hopefully allowing them to find their own market, before sinking lots of advertising money in.

For a starting attempt at such an operation there'll undoubtably be lots of flaws initially, but I think on the whole this is a positive development, and could be a very good thing for new artists looking to get off the starting block, especially if other labels (including indies) start to follow suit.

So, what do YOU think? [asked as I wave a finger in your general direction]

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allowing the artists to retain copyright and masters is undoubtably brilliant and i don't see any reason why this shouldn't work. of course there's also no reason why indies can't do the same thing. i'd imagine bands can do much the same thing themselves too only they might have to work harder at getting exposure online for it.

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Guest pop-notmyface

this "revolution" sounds more like a wolf in sheeps' skin to me.

if a small, unsigned band generates a lot of hype, one of the bigger labels will catch wind of that at some point. so in more than one way, it's not that much different to how the music industry has been running for in the last four years. the principles remain the same. hosting music on the net is really yesterdays revolution.

it seems more like a publicity stunt.

actually, its a bit like Coca Cola.

they add lemon flavour, or vanilla or whatever to the receipe, but in the end of the day, it's still Coke. it doesn't taste that much different. and if it wasnt for the label, we couldn't really define what kind of flavour of coke we're drinking.

just my opinon.

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