The rallying cry of many musicians today is “Do It Yourself” or DIY, meaning that it’s now possible to do so much of the grunt work necessary to make it without the help of a record label. For instance, you don’t need a label to act as a bank to supply money for recording any more, since most every musician has a studio at home these days that’s far more powerful than what The Beatles used in their heyday. You don’t need the label to manufacture your product, since it’s now possible to print limited runs of CDs if necessary, and virtual products cost very little to distribute. As far as promotion, social media and YouTube play such a big part in getting the word out, and so much of that can be done directly by the artist.
DIY is indeed a viable option until the point where the artist rises to the level of star, then all DIY bets are off. In order to break on through to the other side of international superstardom, the marketing infrastructure provided by a major record label is almost a necessity. A DIY artist can opt to try to reinvent the wheel, or go to a label with experience and expertise to make things happen on a larger scale.
This is exactly where superstar Prince finds himself, as his recently announced new deal once again returns him to the Warner Music fold, a surprising move that many industry observers thought could never happen. Warners was the label that originally launched Prince into stardom, but the falling out between the parties became so vile that Prince labeled himself a “slave,” then changed his name to that unpronounceable insignia as to create a new trademark that would not promote his previous Warner releases. Read more on Forbes.
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