STATE OF PLAY
What is the music industry like, who is in
control, what does the future hold?
The US Music Industry
What does it cover?
• 3000+ Labels
• 30,000 new releases a year
Where are they based?
• New York, LA and Nashville
What do they do?
• Talent acquisition
• Contractual arrangement with artists and managers
• Marketing an Promotion
• Enforcement of copyright
The US Music Industry
• Global Sales 18 billion (2008)
• US market 5 billion
What do they sell?
How Does it Work?
Direct to consumers
• Major distribution, dominant the market
• Lack ability of major distribution
Sub-Labels and Imprints
• separate companies or division owned or distributed by
the major labels
• non traditional distribution, focus on non-mainstream
Majors control approx. 75% of the worlds music, and 80-90% of
the US market. All of these companies have non music divisions
Universal (owned by Vivendi French based company)
Sony Music Entertainment (US based subsidiary of Japanese
Warner Music Group (US based, owned by Time Warner)
EMI Music Group (British and in serious trouble 1.75 billion losses
Black Eyed Peas
Fall Out Boy
Kings of Leon
Death Cab for Cutie
Nine Inch Nails
EMI Music Group
30 seconds to Mars
Well Financed = better
marketing and talent
Can offer artists stability,
prestige, advances, top
More creative - find a new
talent, use creative tactics
for marketing etc., build
better brand loyalty
Speed - not hindered by
long corporate approval
understand artists and
In groups, research a record label and create a poster which
includes (but not limited to) answers to the following…
•Is the label part of a bigger ‘music group’?
•What other interests do they have?
•Do they own any other labels?
•What key artists are signed to the label?
•What is a 360 degree deal?
•Do they offer 360 degree deals? With whom?
•What have they done in the light of the digital revolution?
•What sort of position are they in for the future?
What are you actually paying for?
Marketing of music is important in popular
music and new releases need a music
video and TV time as well as radio play.
Note how much of the cost of a CD goes
into marketing and promotion (this would
include the video) and how much to the
What do you think you are paying for when
you buy a £9 CD?
The price you pay…
Share of $15 US CD
As a new artist, which label would you want to represent
you and why?
Give reasons for your answer.