Great post that I again picked up from @BuzzSonic’s Twitter stream – follow him if you don’t already!

This is an insightful piece on whether it’s worth it in this day and age jumping through hoops and working like a dog just to get a record deal, when you can, more than likely, achieve nearly as much with a far better income in the burgeoning world of ‘direct to fan’.

I’m not saying that it’s right for every artist to eschew the option of getting a record deal, but the beauty of the world we now live in is that you as an artist should be doing everything to build a fanbase and speak directly to an audience – whether you want to go it alone or whether you want that beginning of popularity to propel you to a deal. The work required is basically the same.

In traditional agreements- labels recouped their investment through record sales, leaving band’s earnings to be made from touring, merchandise and sponsorship. Now, 360-degree deals are the norm. Warner won’t sign anyone now unless it’s a 360 deal- a package which is more akin to a management deal, whereby the label will take a cut from any future sponsorship, seeding, use of material, touring and merchandise. And while this may remove the need for an ‘immediate hit’, in real terms it means that bands will earn even less, and have less control over their image, presentation and rights.

Labels traditionally made money from the process in which they were involved – ie/ recording and distributing records. Is it coincidence that now that recorded music sales are significantly declining, they change their business model? What gives them the right to impede on touring, merchandise, sponsorship or the use of music in films or adverts? How does this benefit either the artist or the audience?

Read the piece here.

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