Conventions & Awards

Video: A2IM’s Rich Bengloff On The Myth Of DIY Artists & Next Big Sound On The Analysis Paralysis

image from In this next set of footage from the Bandwidth Conference, Danny Dee talked with Rich Bengloff, the President of A2iM. He gives an overview of the gathering, talks about why labels still matter, and sheds light into the myth of DIY artists. Then Next Big Sound CEO Alex White weighed in on paralysis of analysis .

In this climate, Bengloff argues that now, more than ever, labels play an important role in breaking artists and helping them rise above the noise.

Next Big Sound CEO Alex White On Analysis Paralysis:

Share on:


  1. Rich mentions that the most “visibly successful” DIY artists (e.g., Trent Reznor, Amanda Palmer) are “off-label”, and that labels were responsible for creating the fan bases they leverage today. I view artists like Trent Reznor and Amanda Palmer as NOT DIY artists. They provide creative direction, but have teams supporting them, and exemplify a Direct-to-Fan (D2F) model, not DIY.

I agree that DIY is not the way to achieve “large-scale” success (artists would spend all their time on business and marketing, not on fans and music) — but D2F certainly is. As a member of A2IM and CEO of Nimbit, we’ve had the opportunity to work with thousands of independent labels, managers, and artists. Here’s what I’ve seen to add to Rich’s “you need a label” perspective:
    o There are many “types” of successful artists including “up-and-comers”, “off-label”, and “steady independent successes”. Each of these identify and build their fan bases, market to them, and many of them make a very good living doing what they love.
    o A good label provides capital (money), marketing, and distribution. Today’s best Direct-to-Fan platforms (designed for independent labels, artists, managers, and marketing professionals) make it easy to capture fans, raise funds from fans, market to them, and sell directly to them. In other words – Direct-to-Fan platforms coupled with savvy artists and their teams supplant the services major labels have historically provided.
    As our industry shifts, Direct-to-Fan platforms are being embraced. 

    I fully agree with Rich’s view that a good label (more importantly, a good “team”) that supports you in building your career is extremely valuable. Many of those labels use Nimbit. But we also have thousands of non-label, independent artists (and their teams) that build strong careers and make a good living using our Direct-to-Fan platform.

    Chairman & CEO, Nimbit (

  2. Bob-
    I agree with you on many of your key points. There are now more options available than ever before for artists to choose from based upon where they are in their careers which is great. Also agree that D2F marketing and commerce is a must for success at any career level, supported by a label or some of the teams being created that effectively function as a label by providing key support services, although the latter group usually does not supply ongoing support after the old traditional, and now out of date, release cycle pattern is over.
    Label support – and the expertise, contacts, and resources a good label can offer – helps fans stay continually engaged with their favorite artists and helps artists in all aspects (negotiating and securing licensing, publishing, touring, merchandising, etc.) of their music careers.
    Rich Bengloff, A2IM

Comments are closed.