Finley Price – Media blog

Mar 31

1.  Who owns the music in a traditional record deal?

the label contains the rights to the music/soundtrack in a record deal and not the artists as they make all the investment in terms of skill set and money and the label is taking the risk.

2.  How many major labels are there and what percentage of western music do they own?

There are 3 major record labels owning well over 50% of the western music.

3.  Which is the biggest label?


4.  According to Nick Raphael (Capitol Records) is the most important job of a record label?

To find talent and find repertoire which is the A&R process and to find the next brilliant artist.

5. Why do artists feel that traditional music contracts are unfair?

Artists contracts were heavily weighted in favour of the record companies.

6.  What did Radiohead do that disrupted the music industry once they were released from their contract with EMI?  

They released their new album ‘In Rainbows’ themselves over the internet allowing fans to pay whatever they liked. 

7.  What does Kobalt do for well know artists such as Snow Patrol?

monitors every digital download of a song, able to collect the tiny micro payments artists and writers get from every play on a streaming site.  They earned 23% more income on a song through Cobalt.  Kobalt records and distributes their music similar to a record company but unlike the record company, Kobalt allows the artist to retain the rights to the music and charge fees only for the services the artists want them to provide, thereby marketing and distributing the music for the artist

8.  What services is it now offering new and upcoming artists?

helps to mould and develop the artists;



9.  What is the major label’s best defense against Kobalt?


10.  Why is the major labels’ back catalogue so important?

they can provide artists with expertise from in-house promotional, marketing and accounting teams.  Services that they can afford to offer due to their rich back catalogues stretching over 80 years of recorded music.

Sony music has the most lucrative generating over a billion dollars in revenue every year.   This backlog is vital as it creates the flow of cash to allow Sony to invest into new talents, the equity in the brand, allows them to fund the acquisition of new talent.

So funds generated by the back catalogues help promote the new talents who’s back catalogue then goes on to generate more income for the labels, creating a cycle.

11.  How are new artists now emerging without the help of a record label?

New artists are posting videos on YouTube, building a fan base through social media

12.  In what way are fans powerful in promoting artists?

Fans like social media pages of the upcoming artists, they share their pages thereby providing marketing for the upcoming artist.  They also post music to people looking for new music.

13.  How is the record contract signed by Jacob Whiteside & BMG different from traditional deals?

Jacob and not the label retains all rights to his music, he has 100% creative control.

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