Early 2018. Like bursting popcorn in a microwave, new micro-labels were inaugurated at a crazy rate. POP: Firebeatz announce Ignite Records! POP: Zerothirty by VINAI! POP: Goldkid by Julian Jordan! POP: RAZAHK by Loopers! POP: Oz Records by Ummet Ozcan! The list is almost endless… The consequences included hyped fans hoping for more surprises, complaints about the ensuing confusion, and our critical opinion about it.
These labels existed for a single reason: gaining more money from streaming services.
Like every other choice made in these years. With major names asking up to 50% as their commission rate, and music distribution becoming less facile than it used to be (also streaming services are focused on artists’ popularity and not on labels), it was a natural choice for many creators to take charge of the publishing business and go independent.
The problem is that running a label isn’t any easier, especially if it’s existence is purely based on collecting revenues. Disregarding the legal, logistic, marketing and monetary problems, fame is more volatile than Tesla’s stocks! Brands become passé, and a label can’t base its catalog on a single act. In addition, as we observed this with Rave Culture, the initial stages are rough stretches: it may take years of work before gaining market’s reputation. Even more for seeing profit.
Two years later, we now see these businessmen back on Spinnin’, STMPD or other renowned labels, with rare exceptions like Carnage with Heavyweight. What happened here?
Considering that their whole essence had only fiscal objective, without an idea, any imprint or even a roster, CEOs abandoned the idea after a couple of releases, understanding that this game requires a lot of passion, organization, teamwork and investment. Carnage, our big exception, created a sort of brand (brutal hard trap tunes), found a couple of talented artists, and is clearly putting some effort in the project, which is, however, under Spinnin’ Records.
Today’s lesson is that a label is an intricate organization that must have the backing capital and expertise to exist. You can’t create one just because grab more income, and then expect to become the new R3SPAWNED -whoops- Revealed Recordings.