What Do Record Labels Mean Anymore?

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When you’re trying to make it big in the music business, you’ll run into a lot of important questions. How do I sell music on iTunes? How do I successfully promote my music?

And of course, there’s the age old: how do I get a record label?

But, esteemed musicians-in-the-making, what might be a better question to ask yourself is: what do record labels even mean anymore?

Back in the day, circa Madonna, Aerosmith, and the ever impressive Mr. Springsteen, record labels were both absolutely necessary in the industry as well as absolutely hard to come by. Today, though undeniably still hard to come by, record labels have evolved, to an extent, when it comes to necessity. Here’s why:

  • Sell_MusicYou don’t need to shy away from “self” anymore: From self -releasing to self-promoting, trying to make it big all on your own is a notion more popular now than it perhaps ever was before. Thanks to artists like Adam Young of Owl City (who self-released his own full length album after recording in his parents’ basement) and social media sites like Myspace and Facebook, breaking into the industry and then promoting your work isn’t unheard of; in fact, it can be more than successful (one word: Fireflies).
  • The importance of connections: One major benefit that has always gone along with getting a record label is the ever-important connection. Record labels are chock full of ‘em. They can introduce you to the people at the top – in fact, they might just be the top. And while this hasn’t really changed, what has changed is the expanding definition of the word “connections.” Do you really need Virgin if you have Vine? Motown if you have Myspace? Well, it’s a judgment call. Though you can certainly strike out on your own, it’ll be a full time, self-promoting job. And not an easy one at that.
  • Keep your image: One of the great aspects of deciding to ditch the record label route is retaining control over your image. From monitoring an image to “revamping” an image, it’s no secret that record labels have always had their say. And while perhaps this method of extreme management has aided in the past, these days, thanks to websites like Instagram and Twitter, a budding musician can control his or her own image. Even musicians who do have a record label are able to bend the rules and take self-expression into their own hands thanks to these sites (Kayne West’s incredible Twitter rants, anyone?).

Though getting a record label can certainly be the moment your career takes off, it’s important to really think about whether you need one in today’s modern music industry to make it big. Figure out how much time you would be able to put into going the DIY route and weigh the record label pros and cons before making your final decision. For more advice or to find an answer to the question “How do I sell music online” check us out at http://songcastmusic.com/.

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