Before the Internets came and blew up the 20th century music industry, record sales were the main source of revenue for both bands and their respective labels, everyone was happy. Recordings were made possible by labels that funded recording sessions in exchange for full compensation and a cut of the band’s future album profits.
Now things are much more complicated. Musicians can’t rely on record sales anymore and labels can’t rely on consumers to behave the way they used to.
So record companies have adapted. Instead of focusing on making money off record sales they now have to focus on artist branding, publicity, and reputation. This shift in priorities has come about because of the “360 Deal” which allows companies to make money off every aspect of a musician’s life. Look at Justin Beiber or Talyor Swift. These MASSIVE artists aren’t just people – they’re businesses.
This new wave of artist-label relationship means even more money for labels. They’ve grown extra limbs to pull out cash from every aspect of an artist’s life – fashion, relationships, events, concerts, PR events, photo opportunities.
As the 21st century progresses the 360 Deal will become increasingly important. Young artists and the labels that control them will become even more massive figures in daily life and pop culture.
Record deals aren’t about just music and money anymore.