UPDATE: Layoffs At Universal, Sony BMG, Other Major Labels - hypebot

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Zhaul - NuRev

What I see is BAD choices from people who lead the majors and GOOD workers and experts fired because of those choices. And the thing I really can't stand it's that A&R is the first role to be cutted off...is it possible?? They're the future!

Peter Kohan

I concur with Zhaul - NuRev, but it should be noted that you ought to look a little deeper at the majors than just their frontline labels. In just the past few weeks at least 4 friends of mine working on the catalog side of a single major label have gotten the axe.

And if these companies are shrinking on the frontline side that doesn't mean they can shirk their responsibilities to have the proper amount of personnel out there exploiting that massive catalog, because the catalog will still have to provide cash flow for the label, not to mention revenue for the thousands of artists and estates counting on those labels to find the proper exploitation opportunities in the marketplace.

These labels aren't just corporate giants; they happen to be repositories of the WORLD'S collective musical genius. Their archives are not just earnings engines, but significant historical documents to be preserved and maintained. And while I know there are many who work at these labels who take that custodial responsibility seriously the way the labels are shedding staff these days - we as a listening public need to make sure these companies are going to maintain that role diligently.

But, to be honest, I think it's just a matter of time before the majors sell off major portions of their catalogs to companies whose sole responsibility to maximize those holdings. Whether that's to a company like Apple or Microsoft or Google, or to some other type of company, time will only tell. But if these labels keep shedding personnel, then that's the one key sign that the labels themselves are managing for the short term and can't provide the services they claim to provide to signed acts... because increased workloads across the board can't lead to good things for those acts.

There will be 360 deals in the future... after the majors are gone and artist managers start to wield even more power with their clients. Managers already get a percentage of all artist revenue to begin with, so I don't see this as a major shift.

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