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Monday, August 18, 2008 

Don't Get Me Started On Major Labels!

by Madalyn Sklar

I was just reading an interesting article The LA Times put out today, Record labels seek more action on Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Greed is green here. The labels want to line their pockets at the artist and gaming industry's expense of course. Nothing new, I know. Because of the widely success of these popular games should their manufacturers bow down to the major labels? Well unfortunately they have to if they want the music. But like Susan Kevorkian's quote below, the labels should get proactive rather than play victim. As we all know the real victim here is the artist! Yet another reason to NOT sign your music away.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Here are a couple of quotes from the article that should rile your up...

Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman and chief executive of Warner Music Group, recently grumbled that the record labels deserved a bigger piece of the spoils from the games' success.

The game publishers pay the record labels about $10,000 for the rights to re-record a song and up to about $25,000 for master recordings by the original artist or new releases, according to executives close to the negotiations. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms are confidential.

But IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian said the "major music labels need to reposition themselves as proactive players in developing digital music businesses rather than victims. They have a lot of power." Not as much as they once had. The games have moved from niche to phenomenon, and musicians want in.

Post a comment with your two cents on this. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Copyright © 2008 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She founded IndieMusicCoach and has spent over 12 years working with a wide range of independent musicians all over the world. Her goal is to help indie artists achieve greater success in the music business by working smarter not harder. She is also the founder of GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians, with a vision of bringing together and empowering musicians from around the world.

Madalyn is available for one-on-one consulting and coaching at affordable prices. Check out http://www.indiemusiccoach.com/ for more info.

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The music industry is stuck between what they used to be and what they're going to be. I almost get the feeling they know it's crashing and they're trying one last, desperate chance to extract every last buck they can before its all gone--like an aging rockstar starting a summer rock camp to milk every last dime out of their waning career. Right now, they're not thinking about the big picture or the big future, just small greedy little ways to eek out more money.

If I were in the music industry, I'd be trying to get a piece of the performances, and invest my money creating spectacular shows. I'd ask the gaming companies for a percentage of their sales after giving them the right to record for very little, and otherwise I'd give the music away to the indivudual consumer. However, if I were an artist with a record contract opportunity, I'd only take if it it could quickly make me a pretty big star. Then, as soon as the contract was over, I'd produce and distribute myself. I'd get rich making $6+ per CD, selling merch and tickets--even if the numbers of fans were slashed by 90%.

The game is obviously changing. The key for both the industry and the artist is to adapt and overcome. What's good for the business will not necessarily be compatible with what's good for the artist, so we'll all have to be very thoughtful in our choices.

Keep 'em coming, Madalyn. You're making us all think!

Ryan Michael Galloway

Hey Madalyn, I was just reading your blog and the words "Major Labels" and "Greed" jumped out at me. I could not agree with you more. I actually just put together 2 blogs that touch on the subject.

One being the death of the "Song" as we once knew it.

And the other, the death of the music business, before anyone had ever heard of Napster or mp3's

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    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

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