In 2006, Jeff Price (@TuneCoreJeff) launched TuneCore, for the first time allowing all artists onto the shelves of the digital music services whithout giving up rights or revenue. In 2011, he launched Tunecore's Global Publishing Administrationservice, allowing any songwriter access to global publishing administration. Price also co-founded and ran independent record label spinARTfor 17 years. He blogs at ArtistCore.
The money behind the music industry follows the consumption behavior of music fans -- it flows according to the technology infrastructure through which music fans get their music.
As if the costs to record, mix and master were not enough, the artist needed even more up front cash to manufacture the vinyl or CDs they hoped people would buy. If an artist wanted to sell 10,000 CDs, they needed to front the money to make 10,000 CDs and then hope to god they sold. The risk of not getting the manufacturing money back was huge (let alone making a profit). If they did not sell, the artist was stuck with 10,000 pieces of plastic wrapped in shrink-wrap and a lot less money in their bank account (or unpaid credit card bills).
The third barrier was distribution of an artist's pre-recorded and manufactured music. The artist needed his/her music available on the shelves on the stores where people went to buy it. Unfortunately, in the physical world, an artist simply had no way to get his/her CDs onto the shelves of the 10,000+ retail stores across 3,000 miles of the United States. Physical distribution is an expensive, inefficient, costly endeavor of trucks, warehouses, shrink-wrap, inventory systems, finance systems, employees and more. The only way to get distribution was for the artist to do a deal with an entity that had this pre-existing infrastructure – another function of the major labels. In addition, physical retail stores could only stock so many releases before they ran out of room. It was only the majors with their pipelines and money that had access to the shelves of stores like Walmart, the number one music retail outlet in the United States for a period of time.
The fourth and final step on the road to success was marketing and promotion of an artist's music. Music marketing and promotion was accomplished by having a song (or music video) played for other people in hopes those people would like it, buy it and tell others.
Sue music fans for copyright infringement .
- Create more onerous agreements between labels and artists requiring them to give up even more of their copyrights, not fewer (the infamous "360 deals") while providing less value.
- Use antiquated royalty accounting systems and provisions to slow down or reduce royalty payments owed.
- Stifle innovation under the guise of "protecting" copyright (As one example, the majors made it a condition that they must own a piece of Spotify in order for Spotify to have access to their music).
- Killed artist development and long term careers in a mad dash attempt to make money as quickly as possible.
- Feed the media as much false information as possible (i.e. the entire music industry is dying) in an attempt to discredit, slow down and delegitimize the new emerging industry.