Yesterday the 2011-2013 contract between Sony Music and Spotify leaked online. Fascinating reading, it offers as many questions as answers. David Lowery took a look at the deal and noticed, among other things, how much it differs from that given to indie artists.
At first, the major labels made deals with digital music services in desperation - to provide an alternative to piracy. More recently, they've become motivated by short term greed in the form of big advances and ownership stakes. Now, the entire music industry is struggling with the consequences of their actions.
"The traditional music business model was based on selling physical copies of recordings. With the advent of digital technology and a sharp decline in recorded music sales, the focus is shifting slowly but surely into turning artists into brands.2 From an A&R perspective, the goal has become finding artists that have a great following–not artists that just have talent."
Just about anyone who has music available is using the song-for-email strategy. If you’re not on board, basically you trade music in exchange for an email address. It’s a great way to grow your list, and by now we all know that email is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your fans and push out news and offers.
"Many new, undiscovered bands quite rightly wonder why they remain unknown while other, equally shit bands are showered in praise and press coverage. The answer, of course, is PR."
"SXSW didn’t protect the integrity of its brand, simple as that. And now... it’s a massive free for all that feels kinda-fun (see aforementioned bands and beer) at best and obligatory at worst."