Tag Archives: record label
In the last year, the Swedish music platform Spotify has gained considerable media attention in the United States with their free online streaming service. Although many are hailing it as a great way of discovering new artists and music, many are also criticizing the site claiming that it fails to properly compensate independent artists.
Spotify offers a free service that can be accessed online, while access from a mobile device requires a paid “premium” membership. Furthermore, the paid membership allows you to bypass the video and audio advertisements that are present with the free account.
In 2010, Napster founder Sean Parker invested $15 million in Spotify’s development, and has since been involved by sitting on their board. Spotify cracked the ten million user mark that same year, with a quarter of the accounts belonging to paying customers. After many delays and years of negotiation with major record companies, the site finally launched its US version in July 2011.
Spotify compensates artists via their record labels by paying for both downloaded content and streaming. In some countries, record companies have marked a significant increase in revenue since joining Spotify. Not everyone is happy however, American rock duo The Black Keys have gone as far as pulling their newest album El Camino off the site. So why are so many speaking out against Spotify?
Some musicians are independent whether they like it or not. They can try to conform, try to get on board with a label and produce pretty, marketable pop tracks, but in the end they find it impossible, and system collapse is inevitable. The tragedy of this whole scenario is that it can actually destroy talented people, compromise creativity, and confuse artistic instincts. Case in point: the strange and corrupted career of Liz Phair.
Phair is making headlines this week for all the wrong reasons. She released her new album, Funstyle, on the 4th of July, and if you thought she’d been getting mixed reviews as of late, the word on Funstyle is anything but. Pitchfork called it “horrible on every conceivable level.” MusicRadar called it “bizarro.” And LATimesBlog generously suggests that you shouldn’t overlook it, even if it is terrible.
How To Like It.
You were never supposed to hear these songs. These songs lost me my management, my record deal and a lot of nights of sleep.
We recently caught up with Dave Kusek, author of The Future of Music, to talk about his latest project, Music Power Network.
Q) You had received a lot of requests to follow up The Future of Music with another book. What makes your service, Music Power Network, a better response?
A) Music Power Network (MPN) is a dynamic, interactive service. It can be constantly updated on a weekly basis. Rather than just reading a bunch of static information with no specific action steps, MPN provides applicable tools for each and every situation. Whether you have a band, label, management company, publicity firm, or other music business, MPN provides templates and other information that will specifically cater to your needs.
Q) As the large record labels become less significant each day, artists are turning to the direct-to-fan model more and more. Were you afraid that this service would give bands too much power?
ZZK Records, that South American record label everybody’s talking about, is turning two years old. And for the occasion they are celebrating the only way they know how. With a Zizek party.
Lauren Ianuzzi has a full public relations team, booking agent, lawyer, etc. The New Jersey artist has even worked with songwriters and producers who have helped out major label artists (Justin Timberlake, Sheryl crow, Nelly Furtado, etc.). Ianuzzi has accomplished all of this without having help from a record label.
I had a chance to interview Ianuzzi, and she expressed how appreciative she is for her musical experiences, so far.
GH: How have you gained so much support from the music industry? I mean, it’s really hard to do and it’s great to see an artist get that without a label.
LI: I have the most incredible team behind me, so they deserve most of the credit (Team Ianuzzi’s info can be found on www.myspace.com/laurenianuzzi). But at the same time, I’ve always been really self-reliant–you know, that girl who takes over the project even when no one asks her to–and I know that nobody’s going to make my dream come true for me. I have to make it happen on my own. So I’ll show up anywhere, sing whenever anyone says “Sing”…I ain’t too proud to beg!