Every music fan knows what is a record label.
Regarding the Wikipedia definition, a record label is “a brand and/or a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Often, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks; coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos; conducts talent scouting and development of new artists and maintains contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term “record label” derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer’s name, along with other information.”
Traditionally, music industry was directed by the supremacy of record labels and all the very important producers. And all the singers had to fight to be introduced into the musical industry.
But today and for about 5 years, a new kin of record label appears. And it is about web, digital and community participation.
This new kind of label is made on the concept that it is not just one person who promote a singer but also all the community, and everybody can participate.
If you want to become a famous singer you only have to go on one of those new website to post your songs and let people vote for you. Then the community can rate your songs and give money in the pot to help you to create your own album and be produced.
It is like a shareholder system when people who like what you have done can participate to your success. This system is very efficient and allows artists to show their real value, even if they don’t have money or fame.
The fact is that it is Internet users who have the vote for the singers and it is like a kind of guarantee of the future success of the artists. They already have more than one thousand of fans on the web, so they will certainly have more apart from Internet world.
The crowdfunding is like a social media for helping people to realize their dreams.
But the musical crowdfunding is not an altruistic donation, is not charity actions. The web user who gives money became a prescriber because he gets the power to share the project to his own relations, he can act on the fame, the visibility and the credibility of the project and on the reputation of the artist.
In United-Kingdom, the most famous label website, or crowdfunding website, is WeFund. But others websites are offering the same opportunities such as: Crowdfunder or Indiegogo. In France, the concept is also developed with My Major Company, ulule or touscoprod. Some artists have already been discovered thanks to this concept. In France, everybody knows Grégoire, who launched his first album Toi+Moi with 12 singles in 2008. He got 347 producers and he collected around 70 000 Euros to create his album.
An other example is Joyce Jonathan, who launched her first album in 2008 too with 486 producers.
But musical crowdfunding is not only specialized in pop music and we can see that there are more and more classical artists who try to be sponsored on those social medias. It is a very good opportunity for them and for the promotion of classical music.
Is crowfunding going to kill record labels?
We can think that record labels should suffer of the development of crowdfunding. But in fact, when we analyse what the artists really want, we can see that one of their targets is to finally be hire by a record label.
The crowdfunding is like a launch platform for the fame, and then when the artists are known they want to me promote by a real label, with real producers, real sound engineers, etc.
So, definitely, record labels are not dead and the crowdfunding has good opportunities of development.