All Articles Tagged "music business"
(The Atlantic) — Perhaps no entertainment industry has been challenged by the Internet like music. Consider this statistic: At the end of the 1990s, artists made $15 million a year from record sales. In the digital decade that followed, music sales fell 60 percent. What’s an artist to do? Diversify, diversify, diversify. These are boom times if, like the Dave Matthews Band, you’re a popular group with affluent middle-aged fans who are willing to shell out $50 – $100 for a concert ticket. That’s one reason why DMB made $500 million in the last ten years from touring alone, as Annie Lowrey writes.
(The Sydney Morning Herald) — Albums are very last century to Chuck D. As is record-company power. The rhyme-animal from Public Enemy, who helped shape the foundation stone of hip-hop, has moved on from both, having spent the past decade immersed in cyberspace, building online communities outside corporate governance. “My joy over the last 12 years [firstly] has been in the digital forefront, seeing some of the big monster [companies] being levelled down to planet Earth,” he says. “[Secondly], building portals on the web . . . seeing that there’s a world connected beyond the power and the corporations of radio stations and TV.” “But you have other artists who have not been so fortunate because of the lack of infrastructure, so I built hiphopgods.com . . . So if someone like Dana Dane or a Digital Underground comes out with a single, they don’t have to go through the whole bureaucracy.”
Once upon a time, it was all about the major music label deal. But today, as every type of business is taking a loss, some business-savvy artists are doing things their own way with independent labels. Here are some of rap’s richest who continue to thrive in a slow economy with their own label imprints.
The legendary rapper-producer is also one of hip-hop’s savviest–unlike many who sell away the rights to their songs, Dr. Dre hangs on to most of his. and still collects royalties on multiplatinum albums like the 1992 classic The Chronic, which sold nearly 10 million copies worldwide. He also rakes in cash from his headphones line Beats by Dre, a partnership with Interscope Records. He served as executive producer for Eminem’s “Recovery,” which sold over 1 million U.S. copies in its first two weeks; solo album Detox is slated for release this fall.
It’s been a good year for Aftermath Entertainment. The Dr. Dre founded label is enjoying the fruits of Eminem’s latest release with the Detroit rapper earning 10 Grammy Award nominations for Recovery, capping a comeback year for the once-troubled rap star.
Aftermath operates as a subsidiary of, and is distributed through, Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records. Upon his departure from Death Row Records in June 1996, Dr. Dre quickly launched Aftermath Entertainment through Interscope Records (which at the time was Death Row’s distributing label). It was founded as a “boutique label” that prides itself on “quality over quantity”, focusing on small numbers of high-profile releases.
Lauryn Hill has been a mystery to her music fans and we can’t help but wonder the affect it has had on her personal life. She has been popping up in a few surprise performances lately and now it seems she ready to speak. NPRMusic caught up with her for a rare interview and asked why the music stopped.
(PRNewswire) — Fontana, the independent distribution arm of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, has signed an exclusive distribution deal with critically-acclaimed Rap-A-Lot Records, it was announced today by Ron Spaulding, President of Fontana, and James Smith (a.k.a. J. Prince), Founder of Rap-A-Lot Records.
Rap-A-Lot Records was created in Houston in 1986, putting the South on the hip-hop map with its most famous act, The Geto Boys. Rap-A-Lot has continued to focus on rap by navigating the careers of Devin The Dude, Tela, Yukmouth, Do or Die, Scarface, Z-Ro, Bun B, Pimp C, and Trae Tha Truth, among many others. Rap-A-Lot has released almost 200 titles to date and recently launched the upcoming celebration of the label’s 25th Anniversary. The company will mark the anniversary with releases from Z-Ro, Bun B, Pimp C and several themed compilations using select songs from Rap-A-Lot’s extensive catalog.
“I have been doing business with James Prince and Rap-A-Lot for a long time and it is an honor to welcome his entire team to Fontana. James is a true music visionary and has established Rap-A-Lot as one of the great pioneers of southern hip-hop, a true original,” stated Mr. Spaulding. “And as they approach their well-earned milestone of 25 years in the industry, Fontana is thrilled to embrace their innovation, rich catalog and talented artists as we play a role in the next exciting chapter of their history.”
“I am excited about Rap-A-Lot Records’ new journey and the opportunity to work with Jim Urie (President & CEO, Universal Music Group Distribution) and Ron, two music executives that I have the utmost respect for,” added J Prince. “I believe in the Universal/Fontana system and I look forward to having the Rap-A-Lot brand be a part of the #1 music company.”
Fontana Distribution, the independent arm of Universal Music Group Distribution, provides unparalleled sales and marketing support, as well as back office services, for a diverse roster of labels and their artists. Fontana distributes more than 80 labels including Eagle Rock, Downtown, Vagrant Records, WaterTower Music, American Gramophone, Kedar Entertainment, Last Gang, Savoy Label Group, ESL, Music World, Delicious Vinyl, Ipecac, Six Degrees, SMC, VP Records, and many others. In addition, Fontana distributes select projects from UMG labels worldwide.
SOURCE Universal Music Group
(WSJ.com) — In the music business these days, it’s not about selling the most CDs, it’s having the best sponsors. On its path from rootsy L.A. hip-hop troupe to pop juggernaut, the Black Eyed Peas have been escorted by a parade of corporate backers. From Coors to Levi’s, Honda to Apple, Verizon to Pepsi, brands have padded the group’s video budgets, underwritten its tours and billboarded band members in prominent places. When Apple was preparing the 2003 launch of the iTunes store, The Peas’ “Hey Mama” became the first song associated with the iconic campaign’s dancing silhouettes, a point of pride for will.i.am, the band’s frontman.