How to Make the Major Labels Relevant

In a post called Aloha, Mr. Hands, former Beastie Boys/Nullsoft/Yahoo Music general manager Ian Rogers tells Guy Hands what he would do to change EMI’s new music business:

With the disappearance of advantaged label competencies such as superior production, distribution, and marketing, reconfigure your labels to be based around affinities and focused narrowly enough to serve roughly the same audiences from release to release. The labels would be very small teams responsible for fan cultivation, focused and direct marketing, and A&R. They would rely on EMI for service, support, and tools (generic marketing would happen on the EMI mothership, for example).

Rogers asks the eternal question: “What do Daft Punk, Meat Loaf, KoRn, and The Stooges have in common from an audience perspective? How is there any efficiency in the same marketing team working all of those records (and scads of others just as unaffiliated) in the past year?”

The solution: “I would break these old labels up into new labels which can concentrate on and build the trust of like-minded audiences, post-haste.” There’s more to it than that, of course, and the proposal is well worth reading.

2 thoughts on “How to Make the Major Labels Relevant”

  1. The examples he presents of successful labels are very compelling. Pretty good idea from an artist and fan standpoint, but I’d hate to manage all that.

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