Sunday, February 10, 2008
Good idea to form a 100% digital label?
Question: Im looking into forming an anti label called core breach recordings and i wonder if you think its fesible, basically not releasing cds( maybe some in limited runs) but selling 100% through downloads, the band sign to the label for promotion and to pay for the costs of recording, ive been told it could work because i wouldnt have to pay for pressing or shipping, however would people be into a label thats working 100% through downloads.
Answer:I think you will have a REALLY hard time doing it right now. Right now our digital sales are just under 10%, and some major labels have digital sales of 14%,mainly through itunes and amazon Mp3 store- Ok those figures are low, compared to the 90% which STILL comes from Cd's.. but any fool can see, digital is certainly growing, and growing very fast.Industry folks estimate its possibly 5 years until all labels are 100% digital labels, so i agree its only a matter of time, not if.
I think the main question for you in 2008, is wether the fans and especially the bands would be into having no physical release at all?You might well acheive a lot of online praise and support from the Anti-RIAA bloggers - the ones who get all their music free from mega-nazi-upload or media-nazi-fire file hosting sites - BUT I think you will unexpectedly find its the bands themselves who will have the biggest problem with a digital-only label.Most acts expect a label to produce something physical- a CD or Vinyl or maybe some USB-stick artefact- in return for their creative efforts.Even Radiohead, who caused such a media storm with the digital-only release of their 'In rainbows' album, well, within 4 months they also have a regular Cd instores and a special collectors box set aswell, so what does that tell you?
Don't forget also, that Bands themselves can upload their own music onto itunes and many other download sites, without a label being involved.Actually, most bands we deal with these days think uploading 3 songs to myspace is more or less 'a release' of their music.I know what they mean, because fans can hear it instantly, the fans can interact with the band about the songs on the comments section, and the band can tour and play those songs live, and even sell T-shirts aswell.Myspace's popularity with fans is immense, and the huge amount of music being streamed for free from a bands own page,means that where a label actually comes into the picture is becoming increasingly blurry.