why do artists still support the studios?

Discussion in 'Music' started by DeathStar1, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

    Dec 28, 2001
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    Hey all,

    I was looking up info on Blue Ray DVD and came across something about the music industry by accident. It was talking about the 'dead' DVD Audio format and how studios don't realise that it's their decisions that are not working right and not the format itself..

    They then posted an article stating that everytime an artist posted a few songs on her website, CD sales went up. So, a question...

    Wouldn't it just be easier to promote it yourself, get a website, and charge people to download the songs for a small fee and make more money than going with a studio? Or is promotion much more expensive than I'm thinking?

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer

    May 9, 2002
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    Since 2006
    Real Name:
    Cameron Yee
    I think it's a pretty complicated endeavor, although it allows artists greater freedom. To get the same level of promotion as one would get with a studio (which is what people need to get noticed) costs big money and where does that money come from? The artist almost surely doesn't have it, especially if starting from scratch. One artist who has been able to stay independent, Jonatha Brooke, still has to find her own funds to produce a concert DVD and has been doing fundraising activities for that purpose. If funding the project is a struggle, promotion, distribution and touring are just more expenses on top of it.
  3. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

    Dec 15, 2001
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    What if people want a professional-looking CD? I'll buy singles online, but I almost never buy a complete album of compressed music. There are a lot of upfront costs that most artists can't pay.
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Jan 23, 1999
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    Yes, it is.

    Lots of people have done exactly what you say, like my brother Pat Hamm who allows you to listen to his whole CD on the front page of his web site or download the whole thing on Itunes or buy a hard copy at CDBaby.

    Another brilliant artist who does this is the immensely talented Jane Kelly Williams. Her amazing debut album on Mercury records didn't sell well, but the music on it is incredible. Her new album is available on Itunes, through CDBaby, and direct. Well worth the effort!

    A talented New York folk slide guitar player whom I've seen a couple times named Pat Wictor does this, too. His music is great, slide playing fantastic. He's great live, too.

    How do you get your name out there? How do you create buzz? The nice thing about the internet is that you can self-promote to an extent but how do you get people to hear about you?
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Aug 3, 2000
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    I just read a review with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. He said that their current record contract was up after their next record, and that they are thinking of doing the web thing. Obviously, bands like Pearl Jam (with their live releases) have already had some success.
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Aug 23, 1998
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    Speaking from first hand experience, there are a number of things that a label provides to the artist, first an foremost being the clout and financial backing necessary to successfully launch a career. It's not only the promotion that is expensive (typically starting at $1 million to properly launch a product), but production as well.

    To get anywhere in the music industry requires a huge amount of work, even when you have the staff of a label handling the majority of the day to day stuff - making calls to media and retail to promote the product, handling the manufacturing and distribution, handling the advertising campaign, etc. If you do that all yourself, be prepared for a long and expensive process. Rising above the din of thousands of other acts is no small feat, no matter how good you are.

    For an established act, going direct is a viable alternative, but that only works if you have a large enough base to support you. For the person starting out, even if you distribute your music for free, it is still extremely hard to get enough exposure - and more importantly sales - to make this a full time career, and if you do everything yourself, as I do, things can take a long time to get done.

    On the other side of the coin, you don't need to sell the same kind of volume to make the same money. Since everything a label spends on you is recoupable, that million dollar investment comes out of your pocket.

    One major challenge for the independent is getting mainstream press, as there is still a stigma that not being on a major signals a lack of success. Also, ads=ink, so if you can't afford to be advertiing in the big mags, your coverage will be limited, if any at all.

    It's not really a question of the artists supporting the studios (labels), it is more about being on a label as a way to expedite the exposure level by having a team and infrastructure behind you, while letting the artist focus on their specialty.

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