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Information About Record Labels

Record Label Blog Post

We ran an article not too long ago about record labels, and due to popular demand we are runnning it again with a bit more information. 

What an independent record label is truly like.

An independent record label is one that doesn’t receive funding from or distribution from large record labels. However, their sizes can vary, and some even run small- to medium-sized businesses.
The Worldwide Independent Network, an international commercial group, is in charge of representing the artists (W.I.N).
History of Global Independent Network (W.I.N)
The Worldwide Independent Network was established and developed in 2006. The UK’s Association of Independent Music (A.I.M), which Alison Wenham founded in 1999, was led by her for 17 years. She worked at WIN for twelve years, the last two of which she spent as CEO, and during this period she also contributed to its founding in 2006. Wenham has been listed in Billboard’s “Top Women in Music” every year since the list’s inception as a pioneer in assisting independent labels to compete internationally with larger corporations. She left her position at WIN in December 2018 and joined Funnel Music as a non-executive director the following year.

The Australian Independent Record Labels Association compiled a list of the greatest independent records ever for WIN’s Independence Day on July 4, 2008, which was the first annual organized celebration of independent music worldwide.
When it comes to looking to join a label, artists like myself now have a lot of options. There are numerous choices available, but it can be challenging to choose the ideal one. For this reason, it is advisable to seek assistance when reading contracts and making sure you fully comprehend any terms before signing anything. 

A record label, or record company, is the name of the business that owns musical records and music videos. The management of such brands and trademarks, the coordination of the creation, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, as well as the identification and development of new artists’ talent, as well as the upkeep of contracts with recording artists and their managers, are all responsibilities of record labels, which are sometimes also publishing companies. The circular label in the center of a vinyl record, which prominently shows the name of the maker along with other information, is where the phrase “record label” originates.

Recording artists have typically relied on record labels within the mainstream music industry to increase their consumer base, market their albums, and advertise their songs on streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also offer publicists, who help artists get favorable media coverage and set up the distribution of their items through shops and other venues.

Indie versus big

Record labels can be small, regionally based, and “indie,” or they might be a part of a big global media conglomerate, or they can be somewhere in the middle. A major is defined by the Association of Independent Music (AIM) as “a multinational corporation that, together with the other companies in its group, controls more than 5% of the global market(s) for the sale of records or music videos.” There are now just three labels that fall under the category of “major labels” (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group). According to AIM, the majors held a combined market share of approximately 65-70% in the world in 2014. 

Record labels are frequently managed by a business umbrella group known as a “music group.” An international conglomerate “holding company,” which frequently has non-music subsidiaries as well, is typically linked with a music group. Music publishing firms, record companies, record distributors, and record labels make create a music group that exercises authority over these entities. A “record group,” which is in turn governed by a music group, may also be made up of record corporations (manufacturers, distributors, and labels). A music group or record label may sell the individual enterprises as “divisions” of the company.
Regardless of the fact that they are massive organizations with intricate organizational structures, record labels and music publishers that are not governed by the big three are typically referred to as independent (indie). Some people consider nearly any label that produces non-mainstream music to be an indie label, regardless of its corporate structure, while others only use the term to describe independent labels that conform to independent corporate structure and size standards.

The big 3

Major labels, major label subsidiaries, and independent labels are the three primary categories of record labels (see our Major vs. Indie guide, here). The “big three” refers to the record labels that are currently regarded as major labels. In 2016, Universal Music Group (28.9%), Sony Music Entertainment (22.4%), and Warner Music Group (28.9%) held approximately 70% of the global market share for recorded music.
Atlantic, Warner Bros., and Parlophone are the three primary record labels owned by Warner Music Group. There are a number of smaller labels included beneath each of the major groups. In addition, Warner Bros. has a number of subsidiary record label companies, international labels, and distribution agreements.

Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Capitol Music Group, Republic Records, Island Records, Def Jam Records, Caroline Records, The Verve Label Group, and several other smaller organizations and foreign companies are the principal record labels owned by Universal Music Group. Once more, each of the major label groups has control over a huge number of labels.
The current roster of Sony Music Entertainment includes Columbia Records, Epic Records, RCA Records, Sony Music Nashville, Provident Label Group, and several more smaller and international labels.

I hope this has been useful for you, you can contact us if you have anymore questions.


Source(s):  Wikipedia, (2022), TuneSick, (2023).