The other day I came across someone who wanted to start his own record label. I applauded him for his aspirations, but I just couldn’t seem to understand the rationale behind it (for several reasons). People don’t buy records anymore. People don’t really buy CD’s either. People can either purchase the material online or they can “stream” the music. Streaming has become very popular lately, but it doesn’t offer much monetarily to the owner of the song. Most of the record labels from the past have evaporated now. There used to be a lot of them but now they have dwindled down to just a few. The internet has made it so that people can often obtain musical material for free and even share it with others. If this is the case, then what is the purpose in wanting to get a record label deal? If you are even “able” to get a record label deal you won’t necessarily make a lot of money. You will make good money if you sell a whole lot of units for your label though. Back during the day, an artist was lucky to make 17 cents off of each dollar worth or merchandise. When you think about it, when was the last time you bought someone’s music? If you can remember it, where did you actually purchase it from? A lot of people will now go to Apple iTunes to get the music, and there you can buy songs cheaply. Even when the song is bought, a very small percentage of it will go to the artist. A couple of weeks ago I had a good discussion about this with Paul Jackson Jr. (famed guitarist who played on recordings of many big name artists). He told me that artists can still make money off their music, but mostly they have to do so through ownership and touring. He said that streaming songs lessen the earnings of the artist. He gave the example of Ed Sheeran. He said that ED made thousands off the sale of his music, but if it had not been for streaming, he could have made millions. He said that if an artist owns his own material then he stands a chance of making money, and he also said that touring will also enable the artist to get paid. That made sense, because people will buy your CD after you perform it at a show. Many years ago Prince used to give a free CD out to the people in his audience. A lot of people appreciated Prince for doing so. However, what people didn’t realize was that the tickets for his shows were extremely high, so people “actually paid” for that CD without even realizing it. This made Prince a great businessman. He sold his CD’s without having to pay the radio stations to play his music. That was awesome. If you are going to get involved with the radio business you will need to do your homework. Things are not the same as they were many years ago. Once you understand the changes you can modify your business concept so that you can actually make some money. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Brother Bill Jolly, Paul Jackson Jr., Brett Jolly and Kevin Outterbridge in concert