Point Blank – Week 2 – Record Companies & Publishers

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major-Record-LabelsRecord companies and publishers were the main topic for this week’s class at Point Blank. Going into depth about what record companies do, what major labels and independent labels have to offer an artist, the different job roles within a record company and the role of a publisher. Music publishers are companies that are interested in acquiring and exploiting the copyrights in compositions. They don’t sign recording artists and they don’t usually make records, shoot videos or commission remixes. They simply sign up writers (who may or may not be recording artists in their own right) and songs, collect the money that’s generated by the use of their songs and occasionally help to place songs in adverts, movies and TV programs. Music publishing has existed longer than record companies, but if you asked someone to name a music publisher they usually have no answer for you. However, we are sure that they can easily name a record company if asked. Can you name a music publisher? Record labels are the main investors within in an artists life. They enable artists, through advances and marketing/sales support, to treat music making as a full-time career. Record labels also commercially exploit recordings that the artist makes and collect/pay the resulting royalties on their behalf. There are two types of record labels an artist can sign with. A major label and an independent label. An artist can have a bit more freedom when signing with an independent label, as these labels are not controlled by a major record company or corporation. The major record labels are a bit more restrictive as they are a subsidiary company of one of the three major music corporations: Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. These labels usually have an artist sign exclusively to them preventing the artist from being able to work with another record company. In recent years, there has been much debate about the structure of the music industry, and whether record labels are even necessary. Music has existed for thousands of years, but the ability to record sound, duplicate it and sell it to consumers is a modern phenomenon, and has only been available since the start of the 20th century. However in today’s day and age, there are multiple ways to do all this on your own, so are record labels even needed anymore? Taking this course is great and very informative! There are questions like the above that gets you to

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think deeper about the industry. Until next week! ~Michelle for EDMNYC

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