Major vs Independent
This week I’ll be discussing the common disagreement: Major vs Independent labels. A lot of people seem to think there is only one way to get exposure in the music industry these days and that just isn’t true. The old days of major labels being the only way to go are over. You can thank the internet for that. With social media and other avenues on the internet, the playing field has been leveled.
There once was a day when major labels ruled the industry. As I mentioned earlier, that’s no longer the case. However, major labels still have their benefits. With a major label, an artist has a bevy of resources at their disposal that may not be available to them if they were signed to an indy label. For instance, an independent label may not be able to afford to hire a marketing team to help push the upcoming album or single. This requires the independent artists to do all the footwork and work on building relationships while the major label has already established those relationships and can use them to their advantage.
Majors also have their downsides though. If an artist signs to a major, they lose a lot of rights to their creations. Also, major labels have their hand in everything that artist does for them while they are under contract. This includes album sales, endorsements, shows, and sometimes even their relationships with friends and loved ones. So while singing with a major label may be a larger payday up front, an artist should really think about what they are getting into before putting pen to paper.
Indy labels are often perceived as small and a notch below the major players in the music industry. However, with the creation of social media and other outlets such as youtube, Spotify, and iTunes, the independent route is on a much more even playing field now. While it may be true that indy labels don’t have the marketing dollars to push promo like a major label does, in today’s world there are many other ways to promote at little to no cost and this really changed the game.
Now, instead of having to hit the streets to pass out flyers or sell your albums in person, with the click of one button you can have your song posted to every major internet store and radio station. Also, with apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram an artist can reach millions of people with a single post. Another positive for going the Indy route is you keep your creative rights and you get to keep a larger percentage of your sales and show money. The only real downside to doing things independently is you are required to do a lot more work. You don’t have marketing teams, sound engineers, road crews or all the other little things that help take the workload off of the individual.