Indie Labels

Pay-What-You-Want Music Label Opens In Detroit

124 This Detroit music label is a great example of disruptive thinking. When thinking disruptively, the goal is to flip assumptions on their head.

Case in point: Beehive Recording.

All the music is free. All the recording and art services are free. Just donate what you can.

The new album won't be released in three months; it will be released in three days. Fans create an account on the site and download all the music they want.

Just pay what you can.

Popularity is measured by downloads, not sales. Founder Stephen Nawara wants to put his city's music on the map and ignite a tribe around the music he loves.

So he started a music label, thought disruptively, and flipped industry clichés around. Nawara releases one single a every week, twenty-five singles so far.

The site has 600 site members. 3,500 – 4,000 downloads have occured to date.

Artists get free distribution, recording, photography, and recognition, among other things. We realize this isn't a new idea, but the interview below is interesting.

What do you think?

Watch the video:

Beehive Recording Company from Alec on Vimeo.

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6 Comments

  1. Emm.. so initiative is great but i don’t believe the guy doesn’t charge anything for recording. He still has to pay rent, bills, cds and then there is his time which is worth at least something if he can do a lot of things like design, record and play. All of that should be compensated for him.. if not he goes bankrupt soon… Might be too idealistic to work. I certainly agree with him that musicians need to be compensated better but this doesn’t seem like viable model to him.
    But he probably charges percentage of ‘donations’ after record is made.. which is still essentially the same ‘bank’ concept..

  2. Sounds like this guy got a pretty bad record deal. I think when you sign to a label you should only sign something you are fully informed about ie: lawyer… I don’t like the idea of free anything… even if its recording… my experience with free recording usually means ‘waste of time’. No offense though… this dude might have some decent gear…

  3. Howdy Y’all, This is Stephen from Beehive. Just to wanted to clarify some things. First, I have not and never will charge for recording. Any costs we’ve had so far have been payed for by the donations sent to Beehive. We are looking into possibly using advertising on the site from local businesses in Detroit to use as revenue. I’ve been a gardener for 21 years and that is what pays my bills, along with my publishing royalties, NOT record royalties. Second, the deal the Electric Six received was actually a good deal as far as industry standards are concerned and was ok’d by a very reputable attorney in the music industry who deals mostly with high profile artists. And third, though I do not like anything the music industry has to offer, it was a very negative comment to say we want to destroy the music industry. We’ll let them destroy themselves. Fourth, take a listen for yourselves and tell me if it is a ‘waste of time’. Cheers.

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