This timeline shows how the “big number” of major music labels has changed over time, between 1988 and today. Originally the major music labels were Warner music group, EMI, Sony music, BMG music, Universal music group and polygram. In 1998 polygram was absorbed into UMG so the big 6 became the big 5. This number shrank further to four when, in march 2004, Sony and BMG merged . Finally today's big 4 consists of Warner music group EMI, universal music group and Sony music entertainment, which was formed when Sony bought BMG
The Big 4 Presentation
Major labels 1988–1998 (Big Six) Warner Music Group EMI Sony Music BMG Music Universal Music Group Polygram Major labels 1998–2004 (Big Five) Warner Music Group EMI Sony Music BMG Music Universal Music Group Major labels 2004–2008 (Big Four) Warner Music Group EMI Sony BMG Universal Music Group Major labels since 2008 (Big Four) Warner Music Group EMI Sony Music Universal Music Group The “BIG” Timeline
Dominance of the Big Four What are the big four and what does it all mean? The big four are the four major dominating record labels. The chart to the left shows how the big four have dominated over 80% of the music industry combined, with only 18.13% of artists being signed to independent labels. As you can see the Big Four record label have a massive influence on the music industry and dominate the majority
What are music record labels? <ul><li>A record label is the brand name for a music release. Record labels are responsible for the manufacture, distribution and promotion of a particular recording. They also manage brands and trademarks, marketing and promotion, enforcement of copyright protection of sound recording and music videos, conducts talent scouting and development of new artists and maintains contracts with recording artists and their managers The major labels today operate a number of specific label imprints - the actual company logo stamped on the recording. Major labels account for 70% of music sales worldwide and 85% of music sales in the U.S. </li></ul>Where did the term record label come from? The term "record label" originally referred to the circular label in the center of a vinyl record that prominently displayed the manufacturer's name, along with other information Manufacture Distribution Marketing and Promotion
Universal Music Group <ul><li>The Universal Music Group sells more music than any other major label. They accounted for 31.71% of the market. The group's well-known label imprints include Geffen, Interscope, Island, Motown, and Universal. Key artists are: </li></ul>Kanye West Black Eyed Peas 50 Cent Gwen Stefani Mariah Carey
Sony BMG Music Entertainment <ul><li>Sony BMG Music Entertainment is the second biggest major record label in music sales. They accounted for 25.61% of the market. The company's well-known label imprints include Arista, Columbia, Epic, J, Jive, and RCA. Key artists are: </li></ul>Shakira Britney Spears Outkast Alicia Keys Kelly Clarkson
EMI Group <ul><li>The EMI Group is the third biggest major record label in music sales. They accounted for 9.55% of the market. The group's well-known label imprints include Astralwerks, Capitol, EMI, Mute, and Virgin. Key artists are: </li></ul>Coldplay The Beatles Gorillaz Robbie Williams Rolling Stones
Warner Music Group <ul><li>The Warner Music Group is the fourth major record label in music sales. They accounted for 15% of the market in 2005. The group's well-known label imprints include Asylum, Atlantic, Lava, Reprise, Rhino, and Warner Bros. Key artists are: </li></ul>Greenday My Chemical Romance Alanis Morissette Madonna Rob Thomas
Research Since the band Nirvana made it big in the early 1990’s, alternative rock has become popular and entered the mainstream. I consider my band to be alternative rock and therefore consider them to have the potential to be part of the mainstream. They sing about problems that would affect a huge number of young people, and would therefore be popular with a huge number of people. With this prospect in mind a major record label is likely to want to snap them up and use their power to attract young people with their music and lyrics to their advantage. The majority of my bands songs are about issues and problems experienced by a large number of teenagers and young adults around the world. Because of this, their songs have the potential to reach out to all of these people and therefore, prospectively, they could build a large fan base. Due to their ability to reach out to such a large number of people, the popularity of the genre and the potential to make a generous profit, it is likely that major record labels would be interested in them.
Label Research I researched feeder, an alternative rock band from Wales, and found that they had a number of labels including: Echo (1994-2008) (UK) Pony Canyon (1997-2007) (Japan) Victor (2008-present) (Japan) Elektra (1998-1999) (U.S.) Universal (2003-2004) (U.S.) Festival (1999-2004) (Australia) Liberation Music (2005-2007) (Australia) Roadrunner Records (1996-2004) (Europe) PIAS (2005-present) (Europe) I researched the Cardigans, a Swedish alternative rock band, who were signed by a number of labels including Mercury, Minty Fresh, Stockholm, MCA and Universal. Stockholm and MCA are both branches of universal. I have researched some other bands which sound like my band and are in the same genre (alternative rock) in order to see what record labels have signed them. I researched Angelfish, an alternative rock band, which includes the lead singer of my band along with 3 other band members. They were signed by Radioactive Records/MCA. MCA is now Universal Music Group.
A Label For My Band After seeing that all of these bands have been signed by Universal, I believe that Universal Music Group is the most likely label of the Top 4 who would sign my band. I believe they would be able to make my band very successful as they have experience in making similar bands with similar music flourish and become successful.