Monday, May 21, 2007

How to Recognize True Independent Music from Imposters

True Independent Music is growing. So much, in fact, that major labels are now vying to create bands that pose as true independent acts--when in reality, they are not. It is a known fact that major labels regularly make offers to buy promising true independent record labels. When they can't buy them, they try to create the illusion. Here is an excerpt of an actual e-mail sent by a major label to a true independent record label we know:

"When we show interest in entertainment entities, this means there must be something unique, that it has indeed peaked our interest. It means there is potential for major success and growth. It is no secret that in business, there is a beneficial balance between both parties, regarding accomplishments, financial rewards, and recognition, to name a few. The balance may lean more in favor of us at first, until a proven formula has been established. Specific rights and restrictions are common in the entertainment industry. This maintains a structure that will keep order, and creates a protective element that makes business operate in an organized and timely fashion.

All of the small details are not of much importance in the big picture. The bottom line is, you are a small company that can do nothing of great measure for your artist. We are in a position to do so. We would like to purchase your label, and in turn, promote your artist as an independent artist, with major label benefits, which would include touring with established acts, recording in a state of the art studio, monetary advancements (career and personal), manufacturing, distribution, PR, and a name that will give them superior credibility. Sacrifices are a must for positive changes. Give that some thought. I am confident you will do the right thing."

Needless to say, this offer was declined, because free enterprise must prevail. So with this in are six ways to tell when a major label musical act is posing as an artist of true independent music:

1. They use cheats on MySpace, which shows inflated hits on their profile views, and inflated song plays. We have been approached by individuals on MySpace who claimed to have access to these programs and who also claimed to have the knowledge of how profiles are hacked and "friends" are involuntarily added, etc. These individuals were deleted and blocked.

2. They have extensive tour dates all over the world, and across the country. In reality, genuine true independent record labels cannot afford to take on the expense of a world or national tour, because they are disadvantaged in the marketplace, and they aren't permitted to play certain venues that are reserved for acts that are either signed with, or backed by, a major label.

3. They play concerts with major label acts.

4. They are on television, in the news, or in magazines that favor major labels.

5. They are getting lots of airplay on commercial and non-commercial radio stations nationwide.

6. None of the above is possible unless you are signed with a major label, or you are backed by a major label.

If there is a major label affiliation, connection, or backing, it is not true independent music. Don't be fooled.