The state of the independent record label

(c) DVS1

Martin Clark, the maker of Keysound Recordings wrote a dilemma-ridden post which is worth reading: The case for and against vinyl in 2018. He basically makes the point that from the audience perspective frictionless usability is all that matters, even if you essentially give up the right to own music of a certain artist. That is the wet dream become real of the major music industry: you can’t own it, re-sell it or copy it. The audience is dependent on the way the music is offered, or rather rented to.

“A publisher I met recently explained physical book sales are still strong because bookshelves are a reflection of your identity, so people buy more books than they read, just to have them on their shelves. Every music producer wants their first work pressed to vinyl because the history of vinyl is written it, and with that comes an illusion of credibility and status, but they are confusing their needs with their audiences’. They’re supplying something that there is dwindling demand for.”

I don’t think there is a dwindling demand for cultural identity in music though. In a way, independent record labels are still the provider for that demand because they are able to offer a rich set of possibilities to bond with artists, music and culture that is beyond superficiality.