A reader of our main site mailed me some stuff yesterday including a link that led to this brilliant report on the music business written by the IFPI – a major trade body.

I’ve just read the whole thing – You need to read it!

One of the biggest myths about the digital age is that artists no longer need record labels. The internet allows them to reach their public directly, the myth goes. Live music and other revenue sources, like merchandising and advertising, will do the rest.Yet the reality is in fact completely different.

A very small minority of artists, mostly well known, established acts, are achieving success through this DIY route – they deserve good luck. But the vast majority are not. The truth is that artists are generally much better served by a record deal. They want the funding and the specialist support that indie and major record labels provide.

I don’t agree with that in particular, but I’ve always said that perfecting your own talent and then building an online fanbase gives you the choice to go it alone or sign to a label or a new-model ‘music company’.

What this pdf does though, and why you need to read it, is that it gives you a thorough explanation of how record companies work and what they do to break an artist. Whether you want to get involved in that circus with them or not you can learn a hell of a lot from this 30 pages.

Get the ifpi guide here.