Does Recording Artists Still Need Record Labels?

For the past few years, I’ve been hearing this propaganda that artists no longer need labels. They can do it all themselves and they don’t need record deals. With the ability of recording music and video from your home and the Target parking lot after hours, you can put your content out yourself. We have YouTube, soundcloud, mixtape apps, social media and so on all on your phone and your finger tips. All I keep hearing is Why do you need a label or a record deal? We can say the same for actors, Why do you need a movie studio? They have all the same easy tools to put out content; They have YouTube, Vimeo, social media, a camera and video software. Actors have all the same tools as music artists to create yet I never heard anyone say ” you don’t need a movie studio. You can do a bunch of shorts and put it out yourself. The truth is recording artist do need labels. They are plugged into many avenues to get your music heard through movies, commercials, radio, TV shows and streaming apps. You think an unsigned artist can submit their music to be played on a movie soundtrack? FOH, an unsigned artist can’t even get on the radio of his own town without being affiliated with a label.


Have anyone ever thought about this, as rich as Jay Z is, He owns the music streaming company, Tidal and he has Roc Nation distributed through a major label. Puff has his own TV network “Revolt Tv”, Why does he need Epic Records to distribute Bad Boy Records? Between him and Hov, they can help each other and their artists with out a major label. They can legit kill all the labels.


The truth is, labels are plugged into a distribution network that we mere mortals don’t have access to. They are supreme marketers and the gate keepers to major media. The main reason artist needs labels is the same reason actors needs movie studios. It’s been said by many record label insiders that it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote one record. that is the kind of money artist don’t have and they can’t maintain doing record after record even if they did.


We want to do it big, for the culture and to be able to contribute to art form. We’re not doing music just for our friends on the block, or just to jam at the local bar, the club or the train station. You want your art to travel as far as possible. Just think about this, Drake was on Degrassi and he felt that he needed to be signed to a major label instead of doing it his self. Just A few days ago Irv Gotti just signed a major label deal for Murder Inc with 300 Entertainment.  He also have a TV series “Tales” that is coming to BET soon. So the thought of an artist not needing a record label/ record deal is asinine, especially when all the hottest artist you listen to are on the radio and is signed to a major label. If being signed to a label is good enough for Drake, Rick Ross, Jay Z, Future, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd and Kanye then it’s good enough for me.