Author Topic: What should a small record label do?  (Read 29470 times)

bunkdata

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2008, 08:08:07 AM »
Quote
Explain to me how netlabels fit this "business model" exactly?  Netlabels give away the music, and sell... what?  How does the word "business" apply here?

Well, for my business model I am using netlabels to bring in listeners and help develop and foster new artists.  When the websites bring in a large amount of visitors, profits can be made off of advertising.  Using this source of income I plan to produce physical releases that hopefully a percentage of the monthly visitors will purchase.  So in a sense, I am giving away music to sell music.  I am also in the process of diversifying my 'genre' portfolio by creating new labels with new musical scopes.  This allows me to release more material in different genres, increasing the potential profits and profit income to fuel future physical releases.

Please note, I am not a big fan of advertising (Dark Winter has been ad-free for over 5 years) but if it will help me create physical releases I am on board with it.  I have been working on the best, cleanest, and non-obtrusive way to do this.

Best,
Nathan
www.bunkdata.com

mgriffin

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2008, 10:12:26 AM »
OK, I see -- you're not saying Netlabels are a better business model than a more traditional label, but you're thinking a Netlabel can be used promotionally to gather a larger number of listeners, and gradually convert over toward a more traditional label business model.  That actually does make sense to me, but I misunderstood that you might be saying the Netlabel would be a business model end in itself.

My own investigations into advertising (such as on this Forum) lead me to believe that not much money can be earned from it. I thought about putting Google ads (or something equivalent) here, because the Forum does get quite a lot of pageviews... maybe I'll still try it, at some point, and see if a decent balance can be struck (that is, trying to be unobtrusive and not too annoying with the ads, while bringing in enough extra revenue to be worthwhile).
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

SunDummy

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2008, 11:00:28 AM »
Using ads to generate revenue can work.  I frequent a backcountry skiing site (http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/) that survives soley on ad revenue; they don't produce a physical magazine, and sell no physical products.  Their talk forum sees a ton of traffic, however, probably way more than most music sites, especially in our niche genre, can attract (the owner once leaked that they get 100,000 unique hits a month; if true, that's astounding).

The Thinner netlabel seems to be doing well; they give it all away for free, but also offer physical releases.  But I think they're an exception. 
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mgriffin

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2008, 11:15:38 AM »
Hypnos.com gets about 3,000 unique visits per day but the way web servers count a "unique visit" doesn't mean that there are 3,000 different individuals visiting this place per day. 
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2008, 05:19:59 PM »
Back to the original topic...

I sent a nasty follow-up to blogger.com stating that contrary to their assertion, the blog posts had not been removed.  To my surprise, they wrote back right away, saying they'd seen to it that the posts were removed... and they really were this time.

Now I just need to troll back through the earlier blog entries making Hypnos CDs available, and submit a long list of further complaints, and we'll see if blogger.com does something about it.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

lena

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2008, 05:41:22 PM »
Hey husband~

Look in the  top secret Hypnos headquarters area, (down in the batcave). I already made notes for ya'!  :)
When I die, I'm leaving my body to science fiction.

Hana

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2008, 11:13:28 AM »
Fuck that. Now they also got my stuff available at deletedscenes.forgottendreams. :-\
At least my last live release. Fuck those Guys. And they disabled the comments
section


We also found our debut release IREZUMI "Endurance" on the deletedscenes.forgottendreams website. It's a big mess because the links from this forum are re-directed to other forums the same day.

We paid more than 2.500$ for releasing IREZUMI CD (including 75% for the packaging/design). It is very painful to see that all our efforts have been reduced to a shit MP3 zip file, without a "thank you", without even a link leading to our website.

But we contacted the blog owner & he removed the link.
I give you his LastFM url : http://www.lastfm.fr/user/Haloid/

Sometime you have to be agressive with these people, sometime you have to be polite and kindly ask "please could you remove my music from your blog". It is crazy but it's often the only way.

HANA
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 11:17:45 AM by Hana »

phrozenlight

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2008, 05:09:10 AM »
it seems it is still 1 april :o



http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/04/03/emi-boss-loves-file-sharing

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EMI boss loves file sharing

Wishes they would stop suing

By Stewart Meagher: Thursday, 03 April 2008, 7:43 AM

THE BOSS of EMI's digital unit has come out saying that he is dead set against suing fans for file sharing.

Douglas Merrill, who is a refugee from Google, has told CNET that he is passionate about data and he has seen data that shows that file sharing is actually good for artists.

He said he is not sure about this, but he does not think the music business should be working out ways to stop it all the time. He said he was generally speaking against suing fans.

He added that, obviously, there is piracy that is quite destructive but again the data shows that, in some cases, file sharing might be OK.

Merrill added that what the record companies need to do is understand when filesharing is good and when it is not good. But he added that suing fans didn't feel like a winning strategy.

He is still mulling over his plans for success. The idea he is looking at is to adopt subscription or ISP fees. Merrill sees both of these as interesting. He is also considering targeted advertising but he does not want to limit his options.

Either way many people think that Merrill's approach should have been adopted by the music industry around the time that it was suing Napster. µ

L'Inq
News.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

but maybe this contains the solution against "illegal" sharing.

The idea he is looking at is to adopt subscription or ISP fees.

Hana

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2008, 06:09:44 AM »
I think that big labels see in filesharing a good opportunity to definitely get ride of the indie/underground labels and have a total monopoly over music industry

LNerell

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2008, 10:37:20 AM »
To add more to the fun, I just found another blog site that links our music for download  >:(

http://droneambient.wordpress.com

I suggest going their and checking to see if your stuff pops up, then complain to rapidshare (again) and to wordpress. I already got the ball rolling with both.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

SiF

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #50 on: April 04, 2008, 11:06:26 AM »
I think that big labels see in filesharing a good opportunity to definitely get ride of the indie/underground labels and have a total monopoly over music industry
I doubt that. Sure that this is their plan, but it want work out
this way. There are enough people out there, who just love
to spend their money for DIY Label releases. They just love
to receive packages with cds in it. Count me in for this.
And thats a good fact. Sure, this amount is not really big, but they certainly are
there. And we got to be thankful about it.


Hana

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #51 on: April 04, 2008, 02:27:37 PM »
To add more to the fun, I just found another blog site that links our music for download  >:(
http://droneambient.wordpress.com


I can see they were sharing Terraform, oh I wonder who complained to rapidshare :)
You should team up with Rambo (you and me will keep his real name secret) and spread the fire of vengeance all over the bad internet world  ;D

LNerell

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #52 on: April 04, 2008, 04:40:33 PM »
On the Fauni Gena blog they seem to be debating which direction they should go, including starting another forum for download purposes. It seems they would also like to have our point of view on the subject. Shall I invite them to the Hypnos forum for a discussion? What do you think Mike? Its your forum and I don't want to bring anything here without your permission, especially something that might get a bit messy .  ;D Maybe you could setup another sub-forum just for the disccusion?
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

mgriffin

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2008, 11:50:22 AM »
On the Fauni Gena blog they seem to be debating which direction they should go, including starting another forum for download purposes. It seems they would also like to have our point of view on the subject. Shall I invite them to the Hypnos forum for a discussion? What do you think Mike? Its your forum and I don't want to bring anything here without your permission, especially something that might get a bit messy .  ;D Maybe you could setup another sub-forum just for the disccusion?

You could absolutely invite them here.  It's actually possible that some of them are confused about what the attitude of the independent artist or label might be toward such file sharing.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

LNerell

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2008, 03:05:30 PM »
Ok I have invited them, that's if the comment is approved. I expect Mike you are right to a degree, I also expect that some could care less and just want the "free" music. We shall see if any of them come.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

mgriffin

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2008, 04:04:33 PM »
I think most of them just want the free music and don't care at all about the artists or labels, and those people just pay lip service to trying to "support" and "promote" the music.  There may be a small number who actually read the lip service the others are offering, and believe that the whole affair is helpful to the artists and labels, and maybe even that they endorse it to some degree.

The Fauni Gena guy keeps saying "I'm sure it wasn't one of the artists trying to get us shut down, because of course the artists understand I'm just trying to promote the music and convince people to buy the music they discover here."  I'm sure some who read that, believe it's true.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Hana

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2008, 06:01:38 AM »
Mike, Loren, Asmo... Fauni people seem to hardly care about your point of view. I think someone should send them a list of all artists / labels who dont want to be shared (promoted... :P) on the Fauni Geva. Including all people who did not participate to this thread. If this wish is not respected you can send a legal complaint to blogspot (a mail to their address in Ireland must be send to get the blog closed, not an email).
« Last Edit: April 06, 2008, 08:06:07 AM by Hana »

Brian Bieniowski

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2008, 07:50:29 AM »
I can understand the point they make about offering out of print releases for download, but the rest of their justification is spurious at best.  It's one thing when it's a twenty-year-old OOP LP and quite another when the CDs are less than five years old, or easily available from any number of shops.  A quick scroll through Fauni Gena reveals mostly newer or widely available releases and a far smaller percentage of rarities.  Glassworks?  All those Popol Vuh albums?  I'm sure these artists (and Fricke in heaven) really appreciate the "promotion."  ::)

I certainly respect their interest and enthusiasm regarding all kinds of great music, but the fact is that if they did not offer entire albums for free, nobody would bother to visit the site at all.  And the attitude is always one of the hurt victim when their operation is shut down, as though it's really hurting the artist and not the guys enjoying the site.  I'd have more respect for them if they just admitted that they were essentially bootlegging music and didn't give a damn about the legality.  It's the hypocrisies and the entitlement attitudes that bug me the most, sometimes. 

There are so many other options for promoting obscurities.  Why not post only a track or two?  Surely still in that grey area, but one might agree it would stimulate album sales if the person liked what they heard.  Podcasting seems to be A-OK with many artists, even if it is still technically in that grey area.  Use a media player that allows listening and paid downloads but not freebies.

I think, most of all, the sad fact is that it is probable most of the music gets downloaded and never heard anyway.  It languishes on a hard drive, alongside several thousand other tracks, making way for the endless march of newer downloads.  I know tons of people through my own adventures on the inert-net who have hard drives full of music they never play.  The whole thing cancels itself out.  And I imagine plenty of these downloaders wouldn't have purchased the CDs to begin with.

The most amusing part of Fauni Gena?  The Google ads advertising CDs on Amazon!  "Hey, download some pirated music, then get the new Steve Roach on Amazon so we can get a commission!"  What a bunch of douchebags.

Hana

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #58 on: April 13, 2008, 11:45:10 AM »
They are sharing Oöphoi ~ An aerial view (2008) today !!!!???

Gurdonark

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Re: What should a small record label do?
« Reply #59 on: April 24, 2008, 07:15:06 PM »
I'm late to this discussion, but still wish to join in.

I co-own a free netlabel which releases ambient and near-ambient music. I support Creative Commons releases of material under BY and BY NC licenses, and release almost all of my material, if not all, under a Creative Commons license.

Although I favor releases which are more "open source", that does not mean I condone or approve of things done by people who take it upon themselves to release copyrighted material without a permissive license or direct permission. I disapprove of the practice of making other peoples' intellectual property available on other than a fair use basis.

I consider that this is a key issue not only to a small traditional label owner, but also to someone who, like me, believes that labels must inevitably completely reshape themselves to adjust to the new technological/cultural realities of virtual digital media. This is because I think it is important that any in-roads in traditional record labels be accomplished through permissive licensing rather than through piracy. This is because a coherent rights regime
for intellectual property, including permissive licenses, is far better than a "pirate bay" approach.

I believe that a rights holder such as an artist or small label must utilize appropriate firmness about removal of unauthorized material on other websites.  The fair use of excerpts for review purposes, if judicious, would be one thing. "Download this release here in 320 mp3" is another thing. "What should a small record label do?". Alert each such site to take that work down.

At the same time, the key weapon Hypnos has is its fan loyalty. I take inspiration from what Issa (formerly Jane Siberry) and Kristin Hersh are doing. Issa pioneered the self-directed pricing download plan. Kristin Hersh has self-directed or prescription pricing, and posts not only mp3s but also FLAC and even remix stems. I believe that this kind of read/write interaction between audience and creator is essential. I shy away from buying material which lacks Creative Commons features, with limited exceptions.

I buy less Hypnos now than before, though I would never listen to any pirated Hypnos material. This is because Hypnos does not offer digital downloads yet. I would never argue with the point of view that CDs are better sound quality. That's really beside the point. For me, digital downloads and use of my mp3 player is my main mode of
listening. Although I make enough mp3s of my own work to have the requisite conversion softwares, I rarely want to buy the CD to rip the mp3s myself.

CD pricing irks me, because the artificial inflation at the pricing at its outset was never adjusted downward when the mode got popular. This has been an unmitigated disaster for the recording industry, both major and independent. The classical music recording industry suffered massive sales declines, although the classical market is not an illegal downloading contingent. The culprit was not piracy, but a pricing structure that drove away its purchasers. The exception? Budget label Naxos, whose per-CD cost was dramatically less than major-label standard.

When I buy an album from magnatune.com, I can get high-quality Mp3 downloads, CD quality files, the right to re-download if I lose my mp3s, the right to remix the tracks for non-commercial purposes, and even the right to preview all the music on an XPSF player before I buy. I can find great ambient music on that label, including many "name" artists. Why would I buy from a label which offers me only CDs at a much higher price?

I digress.

The people who are pirating your label's artists are in the wrong. I believe that a small label demands their compliance in ceasing the practice, and takes such steps to secure compliance as your lawyer and IT professionals suggest.

I have no kind words for piracy, because my thesis is that (a) pirating big label works perpetuates material that should not be perpetuated; (b) pirating small label works often is a matter of taking from the worthy little buy for no good reason; and (c) piracy removes the market pressure to reform the industry that a meaningful consumer insistence upon read/write products would create.

I hope that people do not pirate hypnos works. it's not only wrong, it's banal to engage in such piracy.

But I do want to see the day when hypnos, one of my favorite ambient labels, offers the features I have come to expect in the small labels I patronize.