Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Running a record label when records don't sell anymore: empirical evidence from Poland

  • Patryk Galuszka (a1) and Katarzyna M. Wyrzykowska (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

From an economic point of view, the business of record labels until recently boiled down to managing a portfolio of artists, with successful stars bringing the label enough money to recoup investments in market flops. The decline in record sales has called this model into question and forced labels to look for new sources of revenue. Employing qualitative data gathered in Poland, this paper demonstrates how labels react to adverse market conditions and what determines these reactions. The paper shows that these reactions include the monetisation of the relationship that a label has with artists through signing 360° deals, the commercial exploitation of artists’ brand names, and concentration on niche markets, either foreign or format-based (e.g. the market for vinyl). The paper concludes that record labels, regardless of which approach they choose to deal with the adverse market conditions, still think in terms of managing a portfolio of artists. What is more, there is no universal strategy which can be applied by every label to deal with declining record sales.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Arditi D. 2015. iTake-Over: The Recording Industry in the Digital Era (Lanham, MD, Rowman & Littlefield)
Caves R.E. 2000. Creative Industries (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press)
Frith S. 1988. ‘Copyright and the music business’, Popular Music, 7/1, pp. 5775
Galuszka P. 2015. ‘Music aggregators and intermediation of the digital music market’, International Journal of Communication, 9, pp. 254–73
Garofalo R. 1999. ‘From music publishing to MP3: music and industry in the twentieth century’, American Music, 17/3, pp. 318–54
Greenfield S., and Osborn G. 2007. ‘Understanding commercial music contracts: the place of contractual theory’, Journal of Contract Law, 23/3, pp. 248–68
Hesmondhalgh D. 1997. ‘Post-punk's attempt to democratise the music industry: the success and failure of rough trade’, Popular Music, 16/3, pp. 255–74
Hesmondhalgh D. 1999. ‘Indie: the institutional politics and aesthetics of a popular music genre’, Cultural Studies, 13/1, pp. 3461
Hull G.P. 2004. The Recording Industry (New York and London, Routledge)
Huygens M., Van Den Bosch F., Volberda H.W., and Baden-Fuller C. 2001. ‘Co-evolution of firm capabilities and industry competition: investigating the music industry, 1877–1997’, Organization Studies, 22/6, pp. 9711011
IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry). 2013. Recording Industry in Numbers. The Definitive Source of Global Music Market Information, 2013 edn (London, IFPI)
Landes W.M., and Posner R.A. 2003. The Economic Structure of Intellectual Property Law (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press)
Leyshon A. 2014. Reformatted: Code, Networks, and the Transformation of the Music Industry (Oxford, Oxford University Press)
Leyshon A., Webb P., French S., Thrift N., and Crewe L. 2005. ‘On the reproduction of the musical economy after the Internet’, Media, Culture & Society, 27/2, pp. 177209
Marshall L. 2013a. The International Recording Industries (New York, Routledge)
Marshall L. 2013b. ‘The recording industry in the twenty-first century’, in The International Recording Industries, ed. Marshall L. (New York, Routledge), pp. 5374
Marshall L. 2013c. ‘The 360 deal and the “new” music industry’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 16/1, pp. 7799
May C. 2007. ‘A multi-tiered music industry? Intellectual property rights, open access and the audience for music’, Journal on the Art of Record Production, 2. http://arpjournal.com/570/a-multi-tiered-music-industry-intellectual-property-rights-open-access-and-the-audience-for-music/ (accessed 8 October 2015)
Moore R. 2007. ‘Friends don't let friends listen to corporate rock’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 36/4, pp. 438–74
Negus K. 1995. ‘Where the mystical meets the market: creativity and commerce in the production of popular music’, Sociological Review, 43/2, pp. 316–41
Negus K. 1999. Music Genres and Corporate Cultures (London and New York, Routledge)
Negus K. 2004. ‘The business of rap: between the street and the executive suite’, in That's the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader, ed. Forman M. and Neal M.A. (New York and London, Routledge), pp. 525–40
Passman D.S. 2011. All You Need to Know about the Music Business, 7th edn (London, Viking)
Pitt I.L. 2010. Economic Analysis of Music Copyright: Income, Media and Performances (New York, Springer)
RIAJ (Recording Industry Association of Japan). 2003. RIAJ Yearbook 2003. http://www.riaj.or.jp/e/issue/pdf/RIAJ2003E.pdf (accessed 24 August 2015)
RIAJ (Recording Industry Association of Japan). 2004. RIAJ Yearbook 2004. http://www.riaj.or.jp/e/issue/pdf/RIAJ2004E.pdf (accessed 24 August 2015)
RIAJ (Recording Industry Association of Japan). 2014. RIAJ Yearbook 2014. http://www.riaj.or.jp/e/issue/pdf/RIAJ2014E.pdf (accessed 24 August 2015)
Rogers J. 2013. The Death and Life of the Music Industry in the Digital Age (New York, Bloomsbury Academic)
Rogers J. 2014. ‘Canary down the mine: music and copyright at the digital coalface’, Socialism and Democracy, 28/1, pp. 3450
Rogers J., and Sparviero S. 2011. ‘Same tune, different words: the creative destruction of the music industry’, Observatorio (OBS*), 5/4. http://obs.obercom.pt/index.php/obs/article/view/514 (accessed 24 August 2015)
Stahl M. 2010. ‘Primitive accumulation, the social common, and the contractual lockdown of recording artists at the threshold of digitalizationEphemera, 10, pp. 337–55
Stahl M. 2013. Unfree Masters: Recording Artists and the Politics of Work (Durham, NC, Duke University Press)
Stahl M., and Meier L. 2012. ‘The firm foundation of organizational flexibility: the 360 contract in the digitalizing music industry’, Canadian Journal of Communication, 37/3. http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/article/view/2544 (accessed 24 August 2015)
Strachan R. 2007. Micro-independent record labels in the UK. Discourse, DIY cultural production and the music industry. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 10/2, pp. 245–65
Stratton J. 1983. ‘What is “popular music”?’, Sociological Review, 31/2, pp. 293309
Styvén M. 2007. ‘The intangibility of music in the internet age’, Popular Music and Society, 30/1, pp. 5374
Towse R. 2003. ‘Copyright and cultural policy for the creative industries’, in Economics, Law and Intellectual Property: Seeking Strategies for Research and Teaching in a Developing Field, ed. Granstrand O. (Dordrecht, Springer), pp. 419–38
Wikström P. 2009. The Music Industry: Music in the Cloud (Cambridge, Polity Press)
Williamson J., and Cloonan M. 2007. ‘Rethinking the music industry’, Popular Music, 26/2, pp. 305–22
Williamson J., and Cloonan M. 2013. ‘Contextualizing the contemporary recording industry’, in The International Recording Industries, ed. Marshall L. (New York, Routledge), pp. 1130
ZPAV. 2014. Muzyczne serwisy abonamentowe motorem wzrostu sprzedaży nagrań na większości rynków. [Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry: Music Subscription Services Behind Rising Music Sales on Majority of Markets], 28 March. http://zpav.pl/aktualnosci.php?idaktualnosci=862 (accessed 24 August 2015)
ZPAV. 2015a. Branża muzyczna podsumowała rok 2014 r. [Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry: Music Industry Sums 2014], 13 March. http://zpav.pl/aktualnosci.php?idaktualnosci=1191 (accessed 24 August 2015)
ZPAV. 2015b. Jakie płyty Polacy kupowali najchętniej w 2014 roku – roczne podsumowanie listy OLiS [Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry: What Albums Were Poles Buying Most Often in 2014? Annual Summary of the OLIS List], 19 March. http://zpav.pl/aktualnosci.php?idaktualnosci=1151 (accessed 24 August 2015)
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Popular Music
  • ISSN: 0261-1430
  • EISSN: 1474-0095
  • URL: /core/journals/popular-music
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 43
Total number of PDF views: 211 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 675 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.