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1. The 4 features of the future record label artist managers and artists should know revolve around community, true ownership, collaboration, and monetization.
2. The “future record label” embraces new advancements and technologies that create opportunities for sustainability for artist careers.
3. The “future record label” isn’t about gatekeeping access but about decentralizing music.
4. The “future record label” removes the barriers of entry to success for artists.
In today’s newsletter, I want to introduce you to 4 features of the “future” record label.
Major labels are stuck in the past. They look at new advancements and technologies as fantastic ideas.
However, the future is now.
From blockchain to cryptocurrency, to NFTs and digital aggregators, to streaming and digital service platforms, the music industry has been moving forward and major labels have been slow to embrace change.
With all of the innovation occurring, the question remains:
What does the future record label look like?
Artists and managers who aren’t paying attention or exploring these changes may find themselves missing opportunities or, worse, left behind.
Ask any music industry analyst if labels are no longer needed, and you’ll get the same response regarding record labels:
“They aren’t going anywhere.”
However, they will ultimately need to change their “strategies to remain relevant.” Anthony Agostino , co-founder & artist manager at Cartel Management Australia, attributes this to the emergence of “new opportunities for independent artists.”
Here are 4 steps you and your client need to do in order to build fandom:
1. Invest in building your client’s relationship with their fans
2. Your client must commit to authenticity, not the algorithm
3. Commit to unscalable interactions
4. Find new ways to engage your audience
If you complete these steps, you’ll know exactly when and why you need an artist manager vs. merely going off of what other artists may presume and assume.
Here’s how, step by step:
The access to on-demand environments (i.e., social media, YouTube) and fragmented fandom gives you and your client the ability to control campaigns without the help of a major label.
However, the future record label isn’t about gatekeeping access. It’s about decentralizing music.
Here are 4 features of the future record label:
2. True ownership
3. Collaborative ecosystem
4. Monetization opportunities
The above features give you and your client the ability to chart your own career while being part of an environment that encourages growth.
Let’s look at these features one by one:
Imagine a record label where artists are members who are accepted and validated.
This is the foundation of community.
Belonging to a group or community with which we can identify helps us develop a stronger sense of personal and collective identity. It can also boost our self-esteem.
Navigating the music industry as well as a creative career comes with its challenges. You and your client may desire to be among like-minded individuals who understand the highs and lows of the industry.
With over 5,000 members, the platform provides community, services, and opportunities via a tech stack that includes everything from distribution to metadata management. Additionally, they have numerous weekly events ranging from workouts and mental wellness check-ins to writing sessions and artist interviews.
HRDRV offers its artists:
1. Community: Artists can connect with other artists for help.
2. Education: Workshops discuss music business topics important to artists.
3. Innovation: Members can distribute their music, track music metadata, and more.
4. Freedom: Artists retain ownership of their art and create as they choose.
The future record label as a community would change the dynamic of how you and your client do business in the music industry.
Community gives its members a voice, especially in the area of ownership.
Imagine a record label where your client had complete ownership of their music.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are becoming a very viable market for you and your client. It gives them complete control of their intellectual property (otherwise known as “IP”).
The future record label embraces returning control to your client.
NFTs change the way we consume art in the following ways:
1. Stopping piracy and/or stealing music – helps to ensure the authenticity of the music
2. Returning control to artists – crypto supports real-time revenue streams and ultimately give more power to your client
3. Adding royalty through resales – your client can earn additional revenue or royalties following an initial NFT sale. For example, you can set it up that every time an NFT changes hands on the NFT marketplace, the transaction could generate 10% more income for your client.
The future record label would thrive from your client having complete ownership of their music, increasing collaboration.
Imagine a record label where collaboration was welcomed and encouraged.
The path to connect with new audiences is through collaboration with other artists and producers. Collaboration attracts attention.
Having featured artists on your client’s tracks enables them to mix their audience. It also builds a level of excitement as it shows your client is active and engaged.
There needs to be a connection between your client and the artist (or producer) with whom they are collaborating other than audience size.
Just as the future record label would embrace community and true artist ownership, collaboration would be a necessary component.
Such collaborations would allow for your client to build an audience outside the confines of genre. It would not only introduce them to new audiences, but new ways of monetization.
Imagine a record label where the music and the artists are not undervalued and underpaid.
The question every artist and artist manager, including you, has regarding the music industry is centered around how to get paid and create sustainability from their art.
The major label system has made this difficult for artists and their teams due to their sheer size and somewhat dated internal systems.
Monetization is a key area to understand for you and your client.
From sponsorships to sync placements, the power is in the artist’s platform. Developing the platform should yield more opportunities – paid and unpaid.
Michaela from HRDRV says it best:
The “future” record label is not so future anymore. With the increase in products, services, and platforms helping you and your client to grow your business, the barriers to entry for success are gone.
The only thing stopping you at this point?
Hope this helps.
✋🏾When you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:
1. Schedule a 1:1 Growth Strategy Call with me on growth, strategy, content, and monetization.
2. Promote your business to 500+ artists, artist managers, and founders by sponsoring this newsletter.
3. Here on my website, I have resources that can help. Check out The Playbook for more information.