The Major Label

We all must ask the question, how much longer will their be such a thing as major record labels? There are only three left (Universal, WB, and Sony) and at this point, everyone is trying to figure out what is going to happen next. One of the major changes is the development of hundreds of independent record labels which are usually being started by DIY artists trying to be recognized and appreciated for their hard work instead of being “milked for money” so to speak. Some notable independents would include Saddle Creek, Infinity Cat, Goner, Drag City, Don Giovanni and the list could go on forever.

Radiohead has been very influential in this movement and probably has marked the most notable move towards independence that our generation has seen with their release of “In Rainbows” in 2007. For those of you that don’t know, Radiohead initially released this album independently on their website with the “name your price” option. I mark this as one of the official landmarks of the major label struggling to stay in tact and we have already seen the impact it has had in just four years.

What is keeping the major label up and running? Well, with huge artists like The Flaming Lips (WB) Lady Gaga (Interscope/Universal) and Pearl Jam (Sony) still going through these labels they are still receiving quite a bit of profit. However, the difference between these artists and smaller ones with major labels is that these bigger acts may actually be making a living (i.e. recouping) and having their records promoted and distributed to retailers instead of being shelved or dropped because their album sales are decreasing. I want to know what you think so leave some comments. I have linked up some labels and artists for you to discover.

Radiohead (Abingdon, Oxforshire) – Independent

Two Gallants (San Francisco, CA) – Saddle Creek Records        Pujol (Nashville, TN) – Saddle Creek Records

Jeff the Brotherhood (Nashville, TN) – Infinity Cat Records    Diarrhea Planet (Nashville, TN) – Infinity Cat Records

Ty Segall (San Francisco, CA) – Goner Records                              Monotonix (Tel Aviv, Israel) – Drag City Records

Screaming Females (New Brunswick, NJ) – Don Giovanni         Flaming Lips (Oklahoma City, OK) – Warner Brothers

Pearl Jam (Seattle, WA) – Sony                                                              Lady Gaga (New York, NY) – Interscope/Universal


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