Bob Baker's The Buzz Factor
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May 23, 2006
Warner Music Taps Indie Success
Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) is a part of a multipronged strategy to revitalize Warner Music, which, like the rest of the industry, fell on hard times in recent years as sales of high-priced CDs softened and Internet piracy accelerated. Through ADA, Warner Music wants to dominate indie music, the industry's fastest-growing segment, by signing deals with scores of small local and regional labels and getting retailers to stock the distinctive music of the fiercely independent acts.
Warner Music and ADA don't own the labels, and merely earn a fee for distributing their records. Yet when Warner's market share is calculated, ADA's overall sales are counted as if the acts belonged to Warner. In addition to the moves at ADA, Warner Music established a so-called incubator system to offer limited financial backing to small entrepreneurial labels with promising acts that can be "upstreamed" -- signed later to Warner Music-owned labels, if they hit big.
The Warner aspect is informative. But the thing that grabs me the most is this:
If you still feel shame about being "indie" instead of being "signed" ... well, just stop it already!
For more info on the Alternative Distribution Alliance, visit www.ada-music.com.
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Bob Baker is an author, speaker, teacher, indie musician and former music magazine editor dedicated to showing musicians of all kinds how to get exposure, connect with fans, sell more music, and increase their incomes.
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