Props to fellow Seattlites Blue Scholars who just announced a deal with Duck Down Records and Cafe Vita. What’s different about this deal is that the band has hired the label and will retain all rights to their music and control over all aspects of marketing and distribution. Caffe Vita will distribute their CDs locally, getting them out of the dying record stores and into a hip retail location with lots of traffic (Starbucks has been selling CDs for years now, but they’re so not hip!).
From their blog:
The old record deal model is dying. Not to say it’s obsolete or not worth it, it’s just that while new alternatives are waiting to be implemented, those traditional opportunities are drying up. Like print publication gigs for journalists. There’s a much larger pool of independent artists with the means to produce music independently. There’s that whole “new media” phenomenon to promote your music. They say the world is at the independent artists’ fingertips, but it’s only half true. Things still cost money to produce–labels might’ve pimped artists, but at least they came out of pocket to back a project financially.
I love hearing stories of artists taking matters into their own hands and coming up with ways of doing business that works for them. And unlike the major labels, Blue Scholars have come up with a model where everybody wins:
With the record industry in flux, conditions are ripe for an alternative. One where the artist, rather than becoming an employee of a label or sponsor, contracts the label and sponsors to do work for them. Everybody still gets a check. But it’s a relationship where the artists (and their handpicked “team”) not only have creative freedom but economic power.
You can read the official press release and watch the clever video about it below.
Rock on, brothers!