New Report Reveals How Labels Grew Towards Streaming
Larry Miller, founder of the music industry consulting and analytics firm Musionomics and NYU professor/director of the music business program at NYU Steinhardt, has released a report on the transition of record labels. The report, "Same Heart. New Beat. How Record Labels Amplify Talent in the Modern Music Marketplace" is based on almost 50 interviews with top level execs at both major and independent record labels. The report looks at the changes that have taken place in the last ten years with labels in today's digital age.
“The digital revolution in music meant that anyone with a creative spark and a computer could make and distribute a song. While terrifically empowering, this led to an avalanche of new music dumped online every week – paradoxically making it harder for musicians to connect with audiences,” said Miller. “As the former head of an indie with major label distribution in the early ’00s, I was curious to examine the current state of play. While there are examples of individual, DIY artist success, the realities of the 24/7 global marketplace demand specialized teams with the ability and resources to react instantly to opportunities wherever and whenever they pop up – and the labels have evolved to meet this need.”
The report looks at the past vs. now of A&R, Marketing and Promotion, Artist Contracts and Services, Sales and Distribution, and Data. Some of the key findings include:
Record labels have evolved to now be music-based entertainment companies. They must focus on engaging fans with continuous streams of social music based content that can be quickly taken in by the listener.
The promotion of a single now costs as much as it used to cost to promote an album.
Data is critical in every part of operations--but it only provides insight when put with the knowledge one has from working on a deep roster of artists and genres across territories. One must be able to separate data information from noise and come to the right strategy for every individual artist and release.
We are no longer constrained by a limited physical retails shelf space. For the legacy artists this is huge as labels now maximize catalogs in ways that go way beyond an occasional reissue .