Robbie Williams had made five times as much money from his deal with T-mobile Sony Ericsson in one year than he had from his record label.
He made most of all from touring (the because effect in full effect!)
Not only are record labels not the primary source of revenue for Robbie any more, they are also not his primary source of promotion (in Australia anyway….).
Interesting also that Sony Ericsson spent six times as much promoting Robbie’s latest album in Australia than EMI did.
As Dave explains it record companies are being dis-intermediated. Artists don’t need them to get to their fans anymore, at least not the established ones. And one could argue that Myspace is providing an alternative to their A&R function.
A few years ago it was impossible to see a music industry without labels – now that doesn’t seem like a totally unrealistic prospect.
I wonder if we might be saying something similar about broadcasters in a couple of years time.
In both the music and video industries the function of aggregating demand and managing distribution looks very different in a networked world.