Music Distributors Refuse To Join Labels In The Present - hypebot

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wiley.peter@gmail.com

Eliot, I know I should never let facts get in the way of a good story but distributors typically take a 30% cut for physical distribution. That accounts for warehousing, accounting, legal, shipping, but more importantly a sales and marketing staff to work the labels physical product to the over 1,000 independent stores, several one stops, and chain and big box retailers. A typical digital distribution fee is 15%. All of this is negotiable, but those are your starting points. Also, while most distributors want to represents a labels' digital catalog, most non-major distributors are happy to earn that part of a labels business after doing a quality (and transparent) job with the labels' physical product. Slow news day?

NotHardToUnderstand

Sounds like Cornelius' label needs to do a better job of projecting demand and managing physical inventory if they don't want returns to cut into their digital income. ADA doesn't dictate how much product is ultimately shipped into the marketplace, the label does.

NotHardToUnderstand

I totally agree with this comment. You can negotiate the distribution rates if you have enough leverage and expertise going in, and you can walk away from the deal if you lack the ability to lower the rates (or the distributor just won't budge). No one forces you do to anything, especially since there are now other options for both digital and physical distribution available to small labels. The advantage of a distributor like ADA is the sales staff, who can help your label deal with digital stores and get great placement for their releases, if you bother to form a relationship with the people at the distributor. If you don't need this kind of assistance, don't sign with a distributor. Services like CD Baby and TuneCore will certainly get your stuff into the digital stores, but they largely lack the relationships that a distributor's digital staff will have to get you placement, etc. You have to develop a rapport with these people and know how to work with them to get their attention and support. Stop pointing the finger and take some responsibility.

Pete

How important are placements these days? Does anybody buy anything because it's just displayed somewhere? I mean, you stumble about new music either via your friends, some recommendation systems, (i)radio etc. However, that's just my own experience.

Does somebody have any insights how important visual placements are with regards to music sales?

Thanks for any reply!

Alex Day

Not true - Tunecore DO have relationships with labels and feature-placers at places like iTunes. In fact they keep a monthly blog where they show transparently all of the features they get for Tunecore artists. 15% is a ridiculous fee for something that costs me ten pounds on TC.

Nelson

Look saying all distributors act like ADA is plain silly. This almost reminds me of back in the day when newbie when around saying the internet was going to get rid of distribution. Well guess what it didn't and it's simple enough to grasp that the internet is but another channel. We know that today using a FanHeatMap.com we can pinpoint where an act has traction and a forward think distributor works with retailers and the label to plan where and how to get fans to come in to stores.

This I might add is hard work and it takes an everyone's ability to be honest as to what to expect from the experience. However make no mistake not having music in stores is the best why to limit your potential in music business by 50-70 percent and the only way to get goods into stores is via Distribution. Any1 want to talk to an http://IndependentDistribution.co let me know we're always looking to grow the AltavozFamily.

NotHardToUnderstand

I should clarify, as my previous comment was unclear. Yes, TuneCore and CD Baby have reps that deal with iTunes, et al. However, those two particular services handle thousands of artists and releases. In my experience, it's harder to get proper attention from them, and their influence on reps working at iTunes isn't as strong as a dedicated sales staff like the one at ADA. A close relationship with a good distributor is pretty valuable, if you know what you're doing. And to reiterate - the fact that physical returns are cutting into digital revenue in this case is the fault of the label mismanaging their efforts, not the distributor.

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BillyWood

This is completely incorrect. ADA doesn't exactly have the best reputation in the indie label world, but there are plenty of distributors that seperate physical/digital, and have no problem offering just one or the other. I've personally dealt with numerous distributors over the past few months, and have had nothing but positive, proactive and forward thinking support from their end.

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