Bob Baker's The Buzz Factor
Music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas for independent songwriters, musicians and bands.
Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros
May 23, 2007
11 Reasons Not to Sign With a Major Label
3. They don't pay you. Oh, they'll give you an ever-shrinking advance. But royalties? No one sells enough albums to go into royalties anymore. And they own the rights to the recording. Terry McBride's got it right: You want to control all the rights, so you can license INSTANTLY! So you don't have to get someone on the phone to say YES to YOU about YOUR music!
Oh, they'll give you money to get started, but it's like making a deal with the Mafia. They own you, forever.
8. They only want you once you've proven yourself independently. If you've created the base, why give up control now?
11. They specialize in saying no. Music is now about inspiration, made by the seat of one's pants. You have to do business the same way. In this fast, ever-changing world, you need to take risks, you've got to make snap decisions, you've got to be able to say yes, QUICKLY! The major is against innovation, it's hard to get an answer AT ALL, never mind YES!
You want to give your new track away for free? No! They won't even let you SELL IT if it competes with the track they're working at radio/in the marketplace. It's not about artistry, but commerce.
Lefsetz sums it up with this gem:
But, if all you care about is commerce, if you want all your money up front, if you want to whore yourself out to corporations, do whatever it takes to sell your lame, paint by numbers, built by committee music ... then sign with the major label. I hope you achieve your goal and get instantly rich, because after this instant, you'll be done.
Brilliant! Still want a record deal?
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What About Bob?
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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