Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Investigating the music industry; a specific record label

Parlophone records
Was originally owned by EMI, then universal music group for a year, and is now owned by warner.
They distribute their own material in the UK, through a range of channels. Radio is a big channel, as some big radio stations are always looking for new music to play and sometimes the new music that they are playing is the next best thing. They also have to make sure that all the other distribution channels e.g. iTunes and other online music stores, HMV and other retail stores. They have to now also look at online streaming services e.g. Spotify, grooveshark or deezer.
For artists that have made it big in America, they can sometimes get signed to a different label, or more often than not, their current label will have a deal that they give the material to their parent company (in this case warner), who then take care of distributing it in the US and sometimes Canada.
They cover a range of genres including rock, Indy, pop and many others. They started off, (like many other record labels) as solely producing jazz in the 1920S but then evolved and joined up with EMI to start producing a wider range of music.
The label is located in the UK, but it has origins in Germany.
It is one of the world’s most famous record labels, most famous signings include the Beatles, (which is still considered to be one of the cheapest record deals), Blur, Coldplay (distributed outside US and Canada), Gorillaz, Lily Allen, Radiohead, The Verve, Kyly Minogue and many others.
Most recent signings include Indy band Two Door Cinema Club and a few more.
It was EMI’s oldest active label until universal acquired it in 2012. HMV had a label but didn’t want to produce anything but classical, so became EMI classics, but then became warner classics in 2013.

Parlophone will have a huge A&R department consisting of many people who will scout around for new talent and new artists to sign.
The A&R people have to earn the artist’s trust and then make a judgement on whether they are doing the right thing or what they should really be doing instead.
The A&R can help develop an act so they are ready for the public market.

The marketing team have a tough job, they will help craft an artist’s image so it looks good for the media, they will also be responsible for advertisements e.g. booking radio and TV air time.

Many labels may have studio’s inside their buildings, they will be small, but in the 50s, 60s and 70s it was more common for labels to have in house studios.
Sometimes they will be used for artists to record demos and B sides.
The production manager of the label will make sure that sessions are running on time and are engineered to a high enough standard.
They will sometimes be the first person to work creatively with an artist, and they will help them through a first time in a studio.

Business development is a big part of a record label as they are always seeking out new business opertunities for a label. They also have to make new partnerships and can be responsible for changing the direction of a hole label.
This could include selling music through social networks, promoting music around adverts, ETC.
They also deal with product endorsements for different artists.
Business developers have to try and understand how the market is changing, and exmine it to see if they can spot the next big thing.
Consumer insight is all about how the record label connects with the listeners of its artists. Discovering how they are listening, and what they are using the most; e.g. streaming or downloads.

A very important part of a record label is the legal department. They need to make sure that they are complying with the law throughout all aspects of the business. This could include all aspects of musical law; intellectual property, competition laws, different laws regarding contracts, ETC.
They will also manage royalties for an artist that has passed away to make sure they are going to the right place.

A record label also has an artist relations department who act as an a point of contact between the artist and the label. They make sure that things are good between them both.
They will help to coordinate different things e.g. tours, gigs, new albums, ETC.

There is also a press officer at a label who will be responsible for coordinating interviews, writing press releases. They will work closely with the promotions team.

Regulatory bodies
PRS is how music is copyrighted. You can get a PRS licence to play music in a bar, shop or a radio station.
PRS makes sure that the artist is getting the royalties for you playing that song in a public place.
An artist will be a member of PRS, which entitles them to the royalties.

Ofcom regulates the broadcast of media on radio and television, deeming whether it can be offensive or not.
They have the right to bann things or fine companies that don’t adhere to their guidelines.

The musician’s union helps artists out by giving them a place to fall back on should they get in to a bit of trouble.

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