- A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion,...
People also ask
What does it mean to be signed to a record label?
What do record labels pay for?
What do you need to know about record labels?
What are the five major record labels?
Oct 28, 2019 · Major record labels offer deals to the world’s most successful music artists. These record labels, such as Sony and Universal Music Group, own distribution networks that put the music of the artists they sign to exclusive contracts in the hands of the millions of consumers sometimes in a matter of days or even hours.
Record companies (manufacturers, distributors, and labels) may also constitute a "record group" which is, in turn, controlled by a music group. The constituent companies in a music group or record group are sometimes marketed as being "divisions" of the group. From 1988 to 1998, there were six major record labels, known as the Big Six:
Record labels are generally the ones financing the recording, mixing, and mastering a musician’s recordings, and they’ll often provide feedback and suggestions along the way.
- Why We Wrote This Guide
- Who This Guide Is For
- What Is A Record Label?
- The Big Three
- Types of Labels
- Structure of A Major Label
- Record Labels & Artists
Record labels have been around nearly as long as recorded sound. For years, being signed to a label was thought to be synonymous with “making it” in the music industry. While the internet and digital technology have made it easier for artists to succeed without record labels, they still play major roles in the industry. However, many individuals lack a basic understanding of the responsibilities, structure, or history of record labels. We wrote this guide to explain just what a record label is and does.Individuals hoping to work in the music business that are curious about the departments and structures of record labels.Music lovers who want to know more about the past and present of record labels in order to better understand just how music comes to the public.
Record labels are companies, large or small, that manufacture, distribute, and promote the recordingsof affiliated musicians. Essentially, record labels work to sell the brand of the artist and the products they create. There are various different departments within record labels that work together to best sell their products and artists.
Record labels began emerging in the late 1800s when phonographs and phonorecords began to commercialize as technology allowed mass production. By the end of the century, three record companies had established themselves as the leaders of the industry: the Thomas A. Edison Company, Victor Talking Machine Company, and Columbia Phonograph Company. In the late 1910s, the original patents on audio recording technologies expired and entered the public domain. The access to these innovations led to the emergence of independent labels throughout the twenties. Simultaneously, the invention of radio was becoming popular and taking consumers away from the recorded music industry. Lastly, the Great Depression was preventing consumers from purchasing many luxuries at all. The combined result was a decline of the record industry in the late twenties and early thirties. The industry also consolidated in the late twenties as Victor and CBS both acquired labels. Edison, the company that led the audi...
There are three main types of record labels: major labels, major label subsidiaries, and independent labels (see our Major vs. Indie guide, here). Today, the record companies considered to be major labels are referred to as the “big three.” In 2016, the big three possessed nearly 70% of the world market share of recorded music: Universal Music Group (28.9%), Sony Music Entertainment (22.4%), and Warner Music Group (28.9%). Warner Music Group has three main record labels: Atlantic, Warner Bros., and Parlophone. Under each of the main groups, there are several smaller labels. Alongside that, Warner Bros. has international labels, distribution alliances, and multiple smaller record label groups. Universal Music Group’s main record labels are Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Capitol Music Group, Republic Records, Island Records, Def Jam Records, Caroline Records, The Verve Label Group, and various smaller groups and international labels. Again, each of the main label groups have authority...
The largest type of label is a major label. As stated previously, the three major labels are Sony, Universal, and Warner. Labels such as RCA Records (Sony), Capitol Music Group (UMG), and Atlantic Records (WMG) are all major labels. The labels directly under their leadership, still within their parent label’s jurisdiction, are the major label subsidiaries that are in the middle ground between major and independent labels. These can be referred to as “sub-labels” or “affiliated labels”. The true definition of an independent label is fairly complex. Some labels affiliated with major companies are still considered independent. Often, independent labels use distribution services provided by major labels. The real difference between a sub-label from a non-affiliated independent label is if the label shares their services with a major label under an umbrella of sorts.
Major record labels are led by a board of directors and executiveslike the president and vice president of the company. The board of directors oversees everything and has the final say on major decisions. The Label Liaisonis either one person or a small group of people. The liaison acts as the spokesperson in communications between the label they work for and the parent label or distributor. The Artist and Repertoire (A&R) departmentof a record label is the portion of a record company that is responsible for finding new talent and convincing them to sign with their label. They seek out talent by going to live shows, keeping up with industry developments and breakout artists, listening to demos, and networking. When A&R representatives find talent deemed worthy of a record deal, they lead negotiations between the label and the prospective artist. They continue involvement with the artist throughout their career by supporting the recording and promotion processes. The A&R department i...
There are a variety of different recording contracts (“deals”) that record labels offer artists. The important thing to understand is that labels sign artists in order to promote them so that they will make money, which will go back to the record label. When artists sign to a record label, they agree that the record label will take a portion of the royalties the recording generates. In exchange, artists can be provided with a vast network of professional connections, specialized marketing campaigns, and a plethora of other services (not to mention an advance and royalties after recoupment). Contracts between labels and artists often include the type of deal being made, any limitations, the term or duration of the deal, the amount of money exchanging hands and when it will be paid back, and any obligations that the artist must meet before the deal ends. See our guide to music industry contracts here. There is no cut and dry method to deciding when an artist should sign with a label (...
http://musicians.about.com/od/ip/g/recordlabel.htm http://www.playlistresearch.com/recordindustry.htm http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2012/feb/02/behind-music-record-labels http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/record-label.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_industry http://www.musiccontracts.com/blog/what-does-a-record-label-do/ http://www.musicbizacademy.com/knab/articles/insidelabels.htm http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1595&context=cmc_theses http://www.ifpi.org/downloads/GMR2017.pdf https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/global-market-shares-2016-sony-and-warner-gain-on-universal-as-indies-rule/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Record_label https://www.thebalancecareers.com/big-three-record-labels-2460743 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Record_Corporation https://www.google.com/search?q=how+record+labels+work&oq=how+record+labels+work&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.2103j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_...
May 18, 2020 · The Traditional Role of the Record Label Don’t let anyone fool you, the purpose of a record label is to make money. Traditionally, to achieve that goal, record labels found music artists, developed them, promoted them, and manufactured and distributed their music in exchange for a percentage of revenues.
Jul 25, 2016 · Record labels can offer bands that knowledge.” Labels not only understand how to properly release albums but also how to write bios, book tours, get press or radio airplay, build social media followings, plan photo and video shoots—or they have the connections to make these things happen. “Sure, you don’t need a record label,” Sabin says.
Record labels are a multifaceted support network for their musicians.
Nov 20, 2019 · levente bodo / Getty Images. When you start a record label, finding music to release and finding distribution channels is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Distributors want to know that you have some music ready to go before they will commit to working with you (in most cases), but musicians will want to know that you have distribution before they sign to your label.