In the latest episode of Watch The Major Labels Consolidate And Make Room For The Second Coming Of The Indie, the European Competition Commissioner has given approval for Sony and BMG to merge. Ironically, I also read earlier today that EMI and Warner have started talking [about merging] again.
All of this talk about consolidation has plenty of people worried. As of now, there are 5 major labels, which account for the majority of the music heard on the radio, and for that matter most of what consumers buy. I happen to believe this consolidation is a good thing (except for the friends that have been laid off as a result). I think it’s about time for an indie label revolution, and more importantly I think it gives up-and-coming bands/artists motivation to take things into their own hands. Getting signed to a major isn’t the end-all-be-all. A&R guys are looking for hits, not bands to develop. It’s a sad state of affairs in the sense that the majors are the ones that have the big money, but there are plenty of bands making a living doing what they love to do outside of the major label system. David Crosby said it quite well in The Way The Music Died:
“The people who run record companies now wouldn’t know a song if it flew up their nose and died. They haven’t a clue, and they don’t care. You tell them that, and they go, ‘Yeah? So, your point is?’ Because …they don’t care. They’re actually sort of proud that they don’t care…. Now they’re going in the tank, because the world has changed, and they did not change with it…I think the only way to sell records that I know about now that does look really, really, really promising is iTunes.”
I have so much mroe to say on this topic, but I’ll leave it at that for the time being. Thanks to Sellout Central for giving me a little inspiration.