COPYRIGHT #1: NET LABELS – Are we ready for a free music culture?


So if you look into a what a record label does it all comes down to promoting a variety of artists and invest in each one accordingly to make profit. That’s it. Promoting can be divided into public relations, marketing, awareness, distribution, image and more. With all the digital tools which evolve as we are reading this blog, the guerrilla marketing or so called creative low budget marketing, can be done by ourselves. Not only that, but we have to do it by ourselves.

This is where a Net Label comes in. They do everything that a record label does but focusing mainly on internet; Boom!…. you suddenly have a Net Label. Are these organizations, companies, websites, or communities? How are they regulated and how do international laws apply to operate and function as real companies while also complying with royalty compensations? I won’t go deep into the ocean that I don’t navigate and where also others don’t know how to navigate, but what I can tell you is that we can’t think in the same way as we did with the physical product era. There are no stocks, there’s no inventory in the accounting system, there is no profit per unit. Everything is virtual, digital. We create that value online with the music, but clearly thinking out of the box. Are we ready for this?

Think for a moment, who is trying to promote music everyday though the internet as a way to make profit? This can be done in different and creative ways: standalone websites, subdomains of prominent services, side projects of existing record labels, disguised podcasts, slick enterprises. Soundcloud, Bandcamp and blogspot are Net Labels, because there in the core business of a ‘digital record label’. With all the resources, I don’t think there’s any limit and I don’t think that copyright will last too long with the same model we know. Music can’t be free, but It can’t also be treated as a unit. Music is an experience and Net labels are providing experiences for consumers connected all day to the world wide web.

Here are some point to think about when building the strategy for a Net Label:

  • Consider singles, albums or both downloads?
  • Model your releases on creative ways and truly forget about the old record label model
  • Charge money if you believe you added value deserves it.
  • Create amazing user download experiences
  • Decide the license you up to before releasing. Creative Commons is the trendiest option for this type of label today
  • Develop a sense of community
  • Think of tags rather than genres
  • Get creative, because the others are doing it already! Gotta stand out

Have fun!

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