Record Labels Adapting
With the internet and its wide accessibility and amount of information and music products, music industry had to adapt in order to survive. One thorny aspect is record labels. Major labels proved to be able to adapt and to adjust according to the trend, and this is the reason they actually survived. Posting videos online cause a change in focus: now singles stand by themselves, they no longer need to be part of an album that in turn must contain several hits. Today, it is not a question of ownership anymore. It is all about access. And internet, in this aspect, is the leader.
One example that proves the fact that companies switched to accessibility rather than ownership is VEVO joint venture between YouTube and the major labels. Artists can now record a song and keep the rights to himself/herself. Record companies decided to drop artists that are not so profitable to the company, that is sales of 80K-100K. In today's world, musicians can retain the ownership rights for the master recordings and for their copyrights, can share all profits from both music sales and tours, which cause a dramatic change in the industry.
Companies had to actually develop new label strategies in order to keep up. One example is the 360 pack. In exchange for the artist's rights, the company give higher advancement payments, higher percentage in CD sales, etc. But this strategy is usually more common for those artists that are already famous and already have many fans. Other artists can produce their own music and as for the record companies, their contract strictly manages several sections of their business, so that the artist may not lose full control over his music. We must mention however that there are artists that decided to end any cooperation with a record company, pointing out that the way in which companies treat the artists in music industry is hurting not only the musician, but the fans as well. As a result, their music is free to be downloaded, in some cases, using the "pay what you want" sales model.
Major firms now had to adjust and to change dramatically their strategies and approach. Survival comes from adaptability.