Independent Record Labels (As Level)

Describing the contrast of independents to majors and giving exmaples

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Basis of Indie's

However small a label is it will have to do these basic jobs…     

          - A&R,

          - production,

         -  distribution,

         - marketing.

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Power Difference

Indies do not have the power of the Big Four –

- Synergy

- Convergence of Ownership

- Vertical Integration

- Economies of Scale

- Horizontal Integration

- Market Domination

- Globalisation

- Multinational Conglomerates

Their ethos is for the music, unlike the majors is solely for the profit.

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Contrast to Majors

- Small. They do not have the advantages of economies of scale

- But they are independent and free


- Formed by people who are passionate about music. (Rough Trade)

- Although they have to be business savvy to survive they are more focused on

the music than the profit.  More likely to take risks…

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- Indies cannot afford to compete with the majors so they often specialise in a particular genre, aimed at a specific target or niche audience.

- Indie music is more likely to be from the long tail end of Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory.

- (Although both Major and Independents will have long tail models within their own organisations).

- An indie will know its niche or target audience well because the owners share their taste.


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Music Industry Is In Crisis

- With less CD’s sold and retail stores like Virgin and Zavvi going out of business. 

- With the arrival of the broadband and illegal downloading. (Pirate Bay, LimeWire)

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Advantages Of Independents

- However it can be argued that the independents are better placed to react to this than the Majors. 

- They can react quickly and they have more of a connection with the fans.

- The internet has created more of a level playing field. 

- Labels can be virtual making it easier than ever to do it yourself.  

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