In the music industry, a record label can be a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. The music industry is the business of Music. Although it encompasses the activity of many music-related businesses and organizations it is currently dominated by the "big A brand is a collection of Images and ideas representing an economic producer more specifically it refers to the descriptive verbal attributes and concrete symbols such as a A trademark or trade mark, represented by the symbols ™ and ®, or mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual In popular usage "marketing" is the promotion of products especially Advertising and Branding However in professional usage the term has a wider meaning of A music video is a Short film or video that accompanies a complete piece of music most commonly a Song with lyrics It is more commonly the company that manages such brands and trademarks; coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, promotion, and enforcement of copyright protection of sound recordings and music videos; conducts A&R; and maintains contracts with recording artists and their managers. Generally a company is a form of Business organization. The precise definition varies In the Music industry, a record producer or music producer has many roles among them controlling the recording sessions coaching and guiding the musicians organizing Manufacturing (from Latin manu factura, "making by hand" is the use of tools and labor to make things for use or sale Distribution (or place) is one of the four elements of Marketing mix. Promotion involves disseminating information about a product, Product line, Brand, or company Copyright is a legal concept enacted by Governments, giving the creator of an original work of authorship Exclusive rights to control its distribution usually for Artists and Repertoire ( A&R) is the division of a Record label that is responsible for talent scouting and artist development A contract is an exchange of promises between two or more parties to do or refrain from doing an act which is enforceable in a court of law
Generally, recorded music needs a record label in order to be widely known, reviewed, heard on media outlets such as radio or television, and in order to be available to buy in stores, although the Internet has changed this to some extent. Radio is the transmission of signals by Modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible Light. Television ( TV) is a widely used Telecommunication medium for sending ( Broadcasting) and receiving moving Images, either monochromatic The Internet is a global system of interconnected Computer networks
Record labels may be small, localized, and "independent", or they may be part of a large international media group, or somewhere in between. An independent record label (or indie record label) is a Record label operating without the funding of or outside the organizations of the Major record labels Multinational corporation ( MNC) or transnational corporation ( TNC) is a Corporation or enterprise that manages Production or delivers The largest 4 record labels are called major labels.  A sublabel is a label that is part of, but trades under a different name from, a larger record company.
The term "record label" originally referred to the circular label in the center of a vinyl record that prominently displayed the manufacturer's name, along with other information. A gramophone
When a label is strictly a trademark or brand, not a company, then it is usually called an imprint, a term used for the same concept in the publishing industry. In the Publishing Industry, an imprint can refer to two different things It can mean a Brand name under which a work is published An imprint is sometimes marketed as being a project, unit, or division of a record label company, even though there is no legal business structure associated with the imprint.
Record labels are often under the control of a corporate umbrella organization called a music group. Warner Music Group (WMG is the third-largest of the "big four" major record labels, the others being Sony BMG, EMI, and Universal The EMI Group is a British music company comprising the major record company EMI Music – which operates several labels and is based in Kensington in Sony BMG Music Entertainment is a diverse music and entertainment group Universal Music Group (UMG is the largest Business group and family of Record labels in the Recording industry. In Business, a group, business group, corporate group, or (sometimes alliance is most commonly a legal entity that is a type of conglomerate A music group is typically owned by an international conglomerate holding company, which often has non-music divisions as well. A conglomerate is a large Company that consists of seemingly unrelated Business sections A holding company is a company that owns part all or a majority of other companies' outstanding Stock. A music group controls and consists of music publishing companies, record (sound recording) manufacturers, record distributors, and record labels. As of 2005, the "big four" music groups control about 70% of the world music market, and about 80% of the United States music market. The music industry is the business of Music. Although it encompasses the activity of many music-related businesses and organizations it is currently dominated by the "big The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Record companies (manufacturers, distributors, and labels) may also comprise a record group which is, in turn, controlled by a music group. The constituent companies in a music group or record group are sometimes marketed as being divisions of the group.
Record companies and music publishers that are not under the control of the big four are generally considered to be independent (indie), even if they are large corporations with complex structures. In Popular music, independent music, often abbreviated as indie, is a term used to describe independence from major commercial record labels and an autonomous Some prefer to use the term indie label to refer to only those independent labels that adhere to an arbitrary, ill-defined criteria of corporate structure and size, and some consider an indie label to be almost any label that releases non-mainstream music, regardless of its corporate structure.
Music collectors often use the term sublabel to refer to either an imprint or a subordinate label company (such as those within a group). For example, in the 1980s and 1990s, "4th & B'way" was a trademarked brand owned by Island Records Ltd. Island Records is a Record label that was founded by British record producers in Jamaica. in the UK and by a subordinate branch, Island Records, Inc. , in the United States. The center label on a 4th & Broadway record marketed in the U. S. would typically bear a 4th & B'way logo and would state in the fine print, "4th & B'way™, an Island Records, Inc. company". Collectors discussing labels as brands would say that 4th & B'way is a sublabel or imprint of just "Island" or "Island Records". Similarly, collectors who choose to treat corporations and trademarks as equivalent might say 4th & B'way is an imprint and/or sublabel of both Island Records, Ltd. and that company's sublabel, Island Records, Inc. However, such definitions are complicated by the corporate mergers that occurred in 1989 (when Island was sold to PolyGram) and 1998 (when PolyGram merged with Universal). Island remained registered as corporations in both the U. S. and UK, but control of its brands changed hands multiple times as new companies were formed, diminishing the corporation's distinction as the "parent" of any sublabels.
Vanity labels are labels that bear an imprint that gives the impression of an artist's ownership or control, but in fact represent a standard artist/label relationship. A vanity label is a Record label founded as a wholly or partially owned subsidiary of another larger and better established (at least at the time of the vanity label's founding In such an arrangement, the artist will control nothing more than the usage of the name on the label, but may enjoy a greater say in the packaging of his or her work. An example of such a label is the Neutron label owned by ABC while at Phonogram in Great Britain. At one point artist Lizzie Tear (under contract with ABC themselves) appeared on the imprint, but it was devoted almost entirely to ABC's offerings and is still used for their re-releases (though Phonogram owns the masters of all the work issued on the label).
However, not all labels dedicated to particular artists are completely superficial in origin. Many artists, early in their careers, create their own labels which are later bought out by a bigger company. If this is the case it can sometimes give the artist greater freedom than if they were signed directly to the big label. There are many examples of this kind of label, such as Nothing Records, owned by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails; Nitro, owned by Dexter Holland of The Offspring; and Morning Records, owned by The Cooper Temple Clause, who were releasing EPs for years before the company was bought by RCA. The Offspring (sometimes referred to simply as Offspring) are a popular and influential American The Cooper Temple Clause were a five-piece Alternative rock band originating from Wokingham Berkshire, England. RCA Corporation, founded as Radio Corporation of America, was an electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986
A label typically enters into an exclusive recording contract with an artist to market the artist's recordings in return for royalties on the selling price of the recordings. A recording contract (commonly called a record deal) is a legal agreement between a Record label and a Recording artist (or group where the artist Royalties (sometimes running royalties) are usage-based payments made by one party (the "licensee" to another (the "licensor" for ongoing use of an Contracts may extend over short or long durations, and may or may not refer to specific recordings. Established, successful artists tend to be able to renegotiate their contracts to get terms more favorable to them, but Prince's much-publicized 1994–1996 feud with Warner Bros. Prince Rogers Nelson (born June 7 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American musician provides a strong counterexample, as does Roger McGuinn's claim, made in July 2000 before a U. James Roger McGuinn (known professionally as Roger McGuinn, previously as Jim McGuinn, and born James Joseph McGuinn III on July 13, S. Senate committee, that The Byrds never received any of the royalties they had been promised for their biggest hits, "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Turn, Turn, Turn". The Byrds were a popular American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964 For The Byrds ' album of the same name see Mr Tambourine Man (album. " Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There is a Season " often abbreviated to " Turn! Turn! Turn! " is a song adapted entirely from the the Book of Ecclesiastes 
A contract either provides for the artist to deliver completed recordings to the label, or for the label to undertake the recording with the artist. For artists without a recording history, the label is often involved in selecting producers, recording studios, additional musicians, and songs to be recorded, and may supervise the output of recording sessions. For established artists, a label is usually less involved in the recording process.
Although both parties allegedly need each other to survive, the relationship between record labels and artists can be a difficult one. Many artists have had albums altered or censored in some way by the labels before they are released—songs being edited, artwork or titles being changed, etc. Record labels generally do this because they believe that the album will sell better if the changes are made. Often the record label's decisions are prudent ones from a commercial perspective, but this typically frustrates the artist who feels that their artwork is being diminished or misrepresented by such actions.
In the early days of the recording industry, record labels were absolutely necessary for the success of any artist. The first goal of any new artist or band was to get signed to a contract as soon as possible. In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, many artists were so desperate to sign a contract with a record company that they usually ended up signing a bad contract, sometimes giving away the rights to their music in the process. Entertainment lawyers are used by some to look over any contract before it is signed.
In the 1970s and 1980s, there was a phase of consolidation in the record industry that led to almost all major labels being owned by a very few multinational companies. CDs still flow through a handful of sources, with the majority of the sales going through the "big four" record labels. The online digital distribution of music shows some potential in breaking up the number of avenues for artists to find markets but the exact outcome is impossible to predict.
In the 1990s, due to the widespread use of home studios, consumer recording technology, and the Internet, independent labels began to become more commonplace. Independent labels are often artist-owned (although not always), with a stated intent often being to control the quality of the artist's output. Independent labels usually do not enjoy the resources available to the "big four" and as such will often lag behind them in market shares. Often independent artists manage a return by recording for a much smaller production cost of a typical big label release. Sometimes they are able to recoup their initial advance even with much lower sales numbers.
On occasion, established artists, once their record contract has finished, move to an independent label. This often gives the combined advantage of name recognition and more control over one's music along with a larger portion of royalty profits. Singers Dolly Parton, Aimee Mann and Prince, among others, have gone this route. Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American Country music Singer / Songwriter, Author, actress Aimee Mann (born September 8, 1960) is an American, rock Guitarist, bassist, Singer, and noted Songwriter Prince Rogers Nelson (born June 7 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American musician Historically, companies started in this manner have been re-absorbed into the major labels (two examples are Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records, which has been owned by Warner Music for some time now, and Herb Alpert's A&M Records, now owned by Universal Music Group). Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12 1915 &ndash May 14 1998 was an American singer and actor Reprise Records is an American Record label, founded in 1960 by Frank Sinatra, which is owned by Warner Music Group, and operated Warner Music Group (WMG is the third-largest of the "big four" major record labels, the others being Sony BMG, EMI, and Universal Herbert "Herb" Alpert (born March 31, 1935) is an American Musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert A&M Records is an American Record label owned by Universal Music Group which operates through the Interscope-Geffen-A&M division Similarly, Madonna's Maverick Records (started by Madonna with her manager and another partner) was to come under control of Warner Music when Madonna divested herself of controlling shares in the company. Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritchie (born August 16 1958 known as Madonna, is an American Maverick Recording Company, is an American Record label and the record company division of entertainment company Maverick. In Finance and Economics, divestment or divestiture is the reduction of some kind of Asset for either financial goals or ethical objectives
There are many independent labels; folk singer Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe Records is often cited as an ideal example. Ani DiFranco (ˈɑːniː (born Angela Maria DiFranco on September 23 1970 is a Grammy Award winning Singer, Guitarist, and Songwriter Righteous Babe Records is an American Independent record label. The singer turned down lucrative contracts from several top-name labels in order to establish her own New York-based company. Constant touring resulted in noteworthy success for an act without significant major funding. Ani and others from the company have spoken on several occasions about their business model in hopes of encouraging others.
Some independent labels become successful enough that major record companies negotiate contracts to either distribute music for the label or in some cases, purchase the label completely.
On the punk rock scene, the DIY ethic encourages bands to self-publish and self-distribute. The DIY ethic ( Do it yourself ethic refers to the ethic of being self-reliant by completing tasks oneself as opposed to having others who are likely more experienced complete This approach has been around since the early 1980s, in an attempt to stay true to the punk ideals of doing it yourself and not selling out to corporate profits and control. "Sold Out" redirects here For other uses see Sold Out (disambiguation or Selling Out (disambiguation. Such labels have a reputation for being fiercely uncompromising and especially unwilling to cooperate with the big six (now big four) record labels at all. The music industry is the business of Music. Although it encompasses the activity of many music-related businesses and organizations it is currently dominated by the "big One of the most notable and influential labels of the Do-It-Yourself attitude was SST Records, created by the band Black Flag. SST Records is an American Independent record label formed in 1978 in Long Beach California by musician Greg Ginn. Black Flag was a Hardcore punk band formed in 1977 in southern California, largely as the brainchild of Greg Ginn: the guitarist No labels wanted to release their material, so they simply created their own label to release not only their own material but the material of many other influential underground bands all over the country. Ian MacKaye's Dischord is often cited as a model of success in the DIY community, having survived for over twenty years with less than twelve employees at any one time. Ian Thomas Garner MacKaye (məˈkaɪ born April 16, 1962) is an American singer and guitarist Dischord Records is a Washington DC -based Independent record label specializing in the independent punk music
With the Internet now being a viable source for obtaining music, netlabels have emerged. A netlabel (also online label, web label or MP3 label) is a Record label that distributes its music primarily through Digital audio A netlabel (also online label, web label or MP3 label) is a Record label that distributes its music primarily through Digital audio Depending on the ideals of the net label, music files from the artists may be downloaded free of charge or for a fee that is paid via Paypal or an online payment system. PayPal is an E-commerce business allowing payments and Money transfers to be made through the Internet. Some of these labels also offer hard copy CDs in addition to direct download. Most net labels acknowledge the Creative Commons licensing system thus reserving certain rights for the artist. Creative Commons (CC is a Non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share Digital Labels are the latest version of a 'net' label. Whereas 'net' labels were started as a free site or just a hobby point, digital labels seek to give the major record industry a real run for their money.
The new century brings the phenomenon of open-source or open-content record label. Open source record labels are a reaction against what some musicians see as corporate control of music via means of Copyright. These are inspired by the free software and open source movements and the success of GNU/Linux. Free software or software libre is Software that can be used studied and modified without restriction and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified Open source is a development methodology which offers practical accessibility to a product's source (goods and knowledge Linux (commonly pronounced ˈlɪnəks