Re: Provoke Change
In theory, a 'large' Independent label (eg. Domino) WOULD be able to significantly lower their prices as opposed to a major label. It's an economy of scale as much as anything else.
The fundamental difference between the Independent model and the Major model is that of salaried staff. The Independent labels tend to employ people piecemeal. That is to say that they employ staff for only what they need them for. For instance, if I wanted to promote a record, I could employ a promotions manager for three months and three months only to do that. A Major label would have their own in-house promotions manager who they have to pay regardless of whether they're being used to promote a record or not. This is the same for most aspects of record production and release, even down to studio costs - everything is paid for as and when it is needed and this allows much greater flexibility (read: survivability) in what is ultimately a very hostile industry.
Depending on the amount of CD's and the projected sales of that CD, I could either press 500, 1,000, 2,000 or even 100,000 and each CD becomes cheaper to press when a higher number are ordered. So in theory, popular records (those which the teenagers are more likely to buy - using them as a baseline) could well be cheaper than less popular records, but this would enable the Independent labels to negotiate better deals for the slightly cheaper pressing of other CD's, they develop economic clout, but do NOT become a salaried major label; the salaried part IS the key difference. As a result, the less popular records could in theory become cheaper.
So your model, whilst absolutely apt in your situation and is the case for some bands, wouldn't necessarily be the case with all such bands. Marketing can be done cheaply and freelance advertising executives can be hired to sort that side of the coin out.
Ultimately the difference between Independent labels and Major labels (and I'm repeating myself importantly) is the fact that the Indie labels have the flexibility to hire freelance staff only when they see fit, potentially saving them money and making it so that the campaign for each record is custom-tailored to that release, on the basis of projected sales and the like. Major labels pay salaried staff all the year around whether they are working or not - there is much less flexibility and ultimately there are holes through which money can leak.
Last edited by Mediocrefunkybeat; 04-02-2008 at 12:12 AM.