Why do major record labels screw artists and get away with it?

Friday, August 16, 2013
By admin
Independent Musician
by Scott Beale

Question by 12468: Why do major record labels screw artists and get away with it?
Why bother with the major corporate record labels? All they want to do is run everything and essentially act like they own the artist and all of the works that artist creates just because the artist receives a recording contract from them and uses a studio. Who likes to be told what to do anyway? If more people would go independent, then there would not be so many problems facing the music industry today. Independents retain control over their music and do not have to be “corporate sell-outs.” These major corporate d!cks get to tell the artist how to act, what to sing, what image THEY want that artist to have and even alter the music that the artist wrote just so that it can sound the way THEY want it, and that’s what destroys an artist. I have written a lot of songs recently and my cousin has written quite a few as well. Trouble is, I do not like the idea of my music being in someone else’s hands. (Trust is a fragile thing!) Going independent/underground proves to be a much better option.

Best answer:

Answer by Goldfly252000
How do you plan to get on the radio? The recording companies give airtime as well.

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3 Responses to “Why do major record labels screw artists and get away with it?”

  1. 1
    justagrandma Says:

    I think you forgot the part where the artists are paid quite well for their loss of artistic freedom.
    You might enjoy that freedom now, but if you want to marry, raise a family you might want a contract too.
    We all make adjustments in what we think of as perfect as time goes on, and money does buy most of us, poverty just isn’t much fun.
    As long as you can afford it stay independent if that’s what you like, but don’t put others down for going where the money is, they have their reasons.

  2. 2
    Yeti Says:

    It’s not clear what your question is. You’re of course welcome to go independent to maintain control of your work if you want. People have been doing it for decades. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It usually means in a couple years time someone is in debt and hunting for a “real” job.

    If you sign with a major studio, they simply have funds and resources that you don’t. They can put up funds for recording in a quality studio, usually with good engineers, studio musicians, etc., if you need them. Otherwise you’re going to be stuck with what you can do yourself at home or via studio connections, etc. They have distribution channels set up to get your work out there. You’re stuck posting to Facebook, etc., or selling CD’s at gigs. They can arrange performances at multiple venues, and perhaps a tour. You’re stuck with what you can arrange on your own, and likely stuck local if you’re working out of pocket. Banks usually aren’t going to issue you loans to do things yourself when it’s stuff like this. They have attorneys if your work runs into a copyright infringement issue. You’re stuck running around the web trying to stop your hard work being given away for free, and without the resources to truly sue people if you need to. You can watch someone else making money directly off your work and you’re helpless to do anything.

    And yes, the downside when you start taking funds from a label is they’re going to have some say about where you play when, or what happens artistically and why, etc. It’s their money at stake, they’re the ones arranging resources for their own reasons, and they’re going to have some say in what’s done and why. At best, you can simply find a place that tries to work with you and reasons through things together. But if you get stuck in wanting to do things “your way” without regard for the practical business consequences they have to look after, yes, you’re going to hit a wall and would probably be best off being someone else who sits at home recording their own stuff and posting on Facebook for their friends.

  3. 3
    trai Says:

    Obviously you’re young and have no clue what kind of money and resources it takes to run an independent record label.

    Here are your choices:

    Work all day at a nine to five, work all night on music, live in a tiny flat with your band mates while eating mac and cheese and driving a twenty year old car, while investing every other cent you can get your hands on back into the music.

    Or, sign a contract, and work only on the music. Gaining access to state of the art equipment, and professional attorneys, promoters, public relations people (to all the business work for you), and the mainstream media.

    It’s a choice. But I’m here to tell you that music for music’s sake is a hard road that takes dedication, sacrifice, and lots and lots of money. And even if you’re all about it, chances are your band mates won’t be. Eventually they’ll want to have and support a family, and they’ll quit making music.

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