Indie music boasted a lot of wins in 2016. Chance the Rapper made his brand all about not signing with a record label. He enjoyed chart success and pr that has been reserved only for big labels. Frank Ocean made a big splash by getting out of his contract and releasing his first independent project. The tides are turning. So there are no more excuses for you. You can’t say that nobody will hear your record if you don’t have a label behind you. Truthfully, many record executives have been taking jobs with Spotify and Apple Music because they know their business model is dying. When groups that are signed to labels are putting up GoFundMe pages, that’s a sign that the ship is taking on water.
This year we set out to discover the best way to get our artists heard. I know people who went the VC route, people who partnered with other brands and managers who decided to foot the bills themselves. It’s an amazing time because the ground is changing underneath us. Look, people love music and it’s not going away. In fact, people listen to more music now than ever – it’s just consumed differently. Which means artists get paid differently. Companies like Kobalt will help you track all of your earnings and your team won’t be in the dark about what you should have because their software shows you. This technology offers what should have always been the standard in the music business: transparency. This shit shouldn’t have ever been so murky.
And here’s the good news: it’s only gonna get bigger from here. All of the evidence suggests that Beyonce is building a media empire. She’s signing artists to her own label among other things and could easily sever all ties with a label and go completely independent. And the songs she’s sung her whole career suggest that was the plan all along.
2017 – are you ready?