Ian Rodgers (former head of Yahoo! Music) is one of the select few Music 2.0 commentators who consistently hit the nail on the head when talking about where we’re going (not just where we’ve been) in the music industry. My (extremely short) list also includes Mark Gunheim, Mike Masnick and Terry McBride
Ian’s open letter to Guy Hands (new owner of EMI) today is a great read for artists and new labels alike. Standout passage (standout because this is exactly what Penny Distribution offers):
“If I’m an artist, I’m probably better off having a small label start building my career than I am submitting to a major, going through the buckshot marketing machine and hoping against hope they’re going to break me at radio or MTV. If the small label has an existing relationship with a group of people already inclined to like my style, they have a better chance at building my career from the bottom-up than I have hitting it big in the channels of radio or MTV.
If, as this hypothetical artist on an indie label, I get traction, will I then move up into the major system? In the old days I *had* to if I wanted to reach a wider audience, but not anymore. If I’m the White Stripes of tomorrow do I do a 360 deal with the label or do one with myself? I can afford to record my own music, I can distribute in 100 different ways by myself (and keep more of the profits), so if I’m going to partner with you for my releases you’d better have better access to a larger audience than I could generate on my own. If my song fits in the limited (and shrinking) channels of radio and music television I might have a shot. But if not, what do you offer?”
Read the whole article here