On March 5th A2IM’s Nashville Chapter hosted a Luncheon at Savarino’s Cucina. More than 30 A2IM members gathered for conversation and an interview with Big Machine Label Group President and CEO Scott Borchetta. A2IM thanks our Nashville Chapter Chair Al McCree for organizing this educational/networking event.
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Independent label Grammy successes continued with 36 wins at the 55th Grammy Awards including Album of the Year and Best Album wins in 18 categories. Mumford & Sons’ win for Album of the Year (Glassnote) is the fifth consecutive trophy for indies in the category, following Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (Concord/Rounder), Taylor Swift (Big Machine), Arcade Fire (Merge), and Adele (who is signed to and marketed by Beggars/XL outside of the U.S.). Below is A2IM’s Grammy Press Release.
Mumford & Sons log 5th consecutive Album of the Year for Indies
2013 marked another strong night for independents at the Grammy Awards, taking 36 of 79 non-producer categories, including Album of the Year and Best Album wins in 18 categories. Mumford & Sons’ win for Album of the Year (Glassnote) is the fifth consecutive trophy for indies in the category, following Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (Concord/Rounder), Taylor Swift (Big Machine), Arcade Fire (Merge), and Adele (who is signed to and marketed by Beggars/XL outside of the U.S.).
Glassnote founder/owner Daniel Glass noted “I’m beyond thrilled and grateful to the band, the independent community that we’re so proudly a part of, to indie retail and the fans that have been a part of this effort. What can I say about Mumford & Sons? They’re a joy, a privilege to work with…I can’t even call it work. And my Glassnote team, I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done in helping build this tremendous achievement. On behalf of all indies, I thank the Grammy voters for embracing great music and great artists…this is truly part of an independent movement and we’re only just beginning.”
Leading all independent labels, Concord Music Group artists took home eight Grammy Awards. Concord President Glen Barros couldn’t be more pleased sending this message, “I’m so happy that I want to give everyone Kisses On The Bottom…along with all our other Grammy winning and nominated albums. I’m so grateful to work with such amazing artists and one of the best teams in the business.”
Said Naxos USA CEO Jim Selby (six non-producer awards): ”I would like to congratulate all of the artists, engineers, and producers who helped create these wonderful recordings. Their dedication, excellence and imagination allows all of us to enjoy this amazing music. All of these projects were created by vibrant independent classical labels, proving yet again how important the ‘indie’ labels and classical music are to each other.”
This year marked the third consecutive year that independent labels and artists led the industry with 50% of all nominations, earning 210 of 393 non-producer nominations.
RSVP to attend the A2IM Nashville chapter luncheon on March 5th (12 noon to 2pm) at Savarino’s Cucina (2121 Belcourt Ave Nashville, TN | MAP)
In addition to catching up with your peers from the Nashville independent music label community and the luncheon there will be a conversation and interview with Scott Borchetta, Big Machine Label Group President and CEO.
This event is open ONLY to A2IM members.
Please RSVP in advance as space at Savarino’s is limited.
Taylor Swift Is No. 1 for a Third WeekBy BEN SISARIO
Taylor Swift reigns supreme for a third week on the Billboard album chart, but the boys of One Direction are coming up fast in her rear-view mirror.
Ms. Swift’s latest album, “Red” (Big Machine), sold 196,000 copies in its third week out, according to Nielsen SoundScan, easily beating out Vol. 44 of the pop compilation series “Now That’s What I Call Music!” for the No. 1 spot. “Now,” with songs by Pink, PSY, Flo Rida, Maroon 5 and 16 others, opens at No. 2 with 99,000 sales.
Meanwhile, One Direction’s latest, “Take Me Home” (Syco/Columbia), was released this week, and it is expected to have a big showing on next week’s chart, possibly beating “Red” for No. 1.
Also notable is that this is the seventh week in a row that albums released by independent record companies have been No. 1 on Billboard’s chart. The run began in September with Mumford & Sons’ “Babel,” released by Glassnote, which held the top spot for three weeks; then the country singer Jason Aldean’s “Night Train,” released by Broken Bow, was No. 1 for a week; and now “Red” has its hat-trick. (In this age of complex corporate relationships in music, however, there is an asterisk: Each of these labels, while owned independently, has distribution deals with a major record company.)
Also this week, Rod Stewart’s “Merry Christmas, Baby” (Verve) holds at No. 3, with 74,000 sales; Ne-Yo’s new album “R.E.D.” (Motown) — the title stands for “realizing every dream” — opens at No. 4 with 66,000; and Aerosmith’s “Music From Another Dimension!” (Columbia) bows at No. 5 with 63,000. Mr. Aldean’s album is No. 6 with 48,000, and Mumford & Sons holds at seventh place with 41,000.
The Tennessean article posted online on November 8, 2012 (in print November 9, 2012) introduces Yamaha’s new record label which emerges in the wake of the “rise of the independents” who have spent six consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. A2IM’s President Rich Bengloff was interviewed and quoted. See the full text of the article below. A link to the article with pictures is HERE.
“Yamaha launches music label to build its brand”
November 8, 2012
Twenty miles from Music Row, in quaint downtown Franklin, music instrument manufacturer Yamaha Corp. is experimenting with a new business model.
No longer content with artists merely strumming and striking the guitars and pianos it produces, the Japanese company now wants them signed to its startup record label: Yamaha Entertainment Group.
The label, launched this fall, is betting that it can break acts by trading on Yamaha’s established name in the music business and, in turn, use those acts to improve Yamaha’s visibility and customer base, said Chris Gero, the label’s president.
“People just see us as a piano manufacturer, a products manufacturer,” Gero said. “But we have all these artists signed as endorsees. The opportunity just naturally started to show itself. We’ve become much more directly engaged with an artist’s life and livelihood.”
Yamaha Entertainment Group is the latest independent label to sprout from the ruins of a beleaguered music industry. The Franklin-based imprint also joins a small but growing number of corporations attempting to diversify and grow by launching record labels.
Yamaha Entertainment Group has effectively replaced Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs, the office that has overseen the manufacturer’s branding operation from Franklin for eight years. It was Corporate Artist Affairs’ job to get Yamaha products in the hands of artists and, by extension, in front of as many eyeballs as possible. It’s not by happenstance, for instance, that the Yamaha name is on prominent display whenever Elton John, a longtime endorser, takes to the keys on stage.
“We think through where the brand will be placed and seen,” Gero said. “We do it very strategically.”
The record label will serve as an extension of that effort. Ultimately, the label’s purpose is to position Yamaha to be as well-known a brand as, say, Coca-Cola or McDonald’s in the minds of consumers, Gero said.
But Gero said the label also is hoping to be an advocate for independent artists struggling to gain a toehold in a music world still working to restructure itself as the digital age redefines how people find, listen to and buy music.
“Because of technology, there’s never been an easier time in history to be heard,” Gero said. “Yet there’s an amazing inability to be heard because technology has taken the profitability out of this business.”
The boutique label will record, produce, publish, license, market, publicize and sell audio and video content for its artists. Alternative Distribution Alliance will distribute the company’s records.
‘I’m not looking for a big hit’
British rock band Leogun is the first act to sign to the label. The band released a five-single EP last month. Two other acts have been signed and are working on projects, Gero said.
The label does not focus on any particular genre and will release about five records each year, Gero said. The imprint will keep overhead costs low by employing just seven people and working with a team of about 30 independent consultants, Gero said. Yamaha also has built a recording studio in Franklin where it will record all of the artists it signs, using as much Yamaha equipment as possible to keep recording and production costs low.
“I’m not looking for a big hit,” Gero said. “I would rather have very small success than very large failures. But I hope we chart records. I hope people are talking about it.”
In today’s music world, Yamaha’s plan appears well within the realm of possibility. Consider the most recent Billboard charts. This week marked the sixth consecutive week that an independent music label claimed the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, which ranks the top-selling albums across all genres.
Mumford and Sons, signed to Glassnote Records, spent three weeks in the top spot before being bumped off by Broken Bow Records’ Jason Aldean, who was supplanted by Taylor Swift of Big Machine Label Group.
“This is a golden age for independent labels,” said Rich Bengloff, president of the American Association for Independent Music. “The model has become sustainable because the cost of entry has come down.”
Independent labels have come to fill a void in the music industry, giving small and mid-level acts a shot as major labels either back away from taking them on or offer what some consider unfavorable deals. The rise of the digital music distribution, which has all but eliminated the bottleneck of record store distribution, has allowed such labels to thrive.
A way to connect
Yamaha, a corporate brand turned independent label, is a variation on the trend. But, odd as it may seem, the company is hardly alone in diversifying its business model to include a record label. Firms with much more tenuous links to the music world have been adding record labels for the better part of the past decade.
The American Association for Independent Music, for instance, counts Red Bull Records, a company created by the energy drink manufacturer, as a member. Beverage maker Mountain Dew, meanwhile, has a label called Green Label Sound.
“The branding of artists with cool companies is a very cool thing,” Bengloff said. “To me there seems like a natural synergy.”
Brands have launched labels as a way to connect with fans and to gain more.
“Any company that has a focused market segment can become a music label,” Belmont music business professor David Herrera said. “The age, lifestyle and tastes affect what we buy, so any product that has a defined audience can also sell music directly, bypassing the label.”
Yamaha is a perfect addition to the group because the company has an established distribution system for music products, said Herrera, who teaches in the university’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business.
“Yamaha has direct access to consumers of music, so the label fit is tremendous but focused,” Herrera said.
Still, such labels aren’t guaranteed success. In 2010 Proctor & Gamble created a hip-hop record label under its TAG body spray brand in a joint venture with Island Def Jam Music Group. It collapsed in less than a year.
Gero acknowledged that the company faces an uphill battle.
“It is very, very challenging,” Gero said. “We are learning as we go the things that work and the things that don’t.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2012
With today’s 1.21 million copy‐selling, chart‐topping debut of Taylor Swift’s ‘Red,’independent music labels have now owned the #1 slot on the Billboard 200 for a record‐setting five consecutive weeks, with what are easily the year’s three biggest‐selling debuts.
Rich Bengloff, President of A2IM, the American Association of Independent Music, calls it a tipping point: “This is a thrilling moment for artists signed to and promoted by independent music labels, and it’s happening during the most competitive season of the year. As change accelerates in the music marketplace, it has led to a rise in access for artists directly to their fans and enabled both artists and independent labels to control how their music is produced, distributed and marketed. These results are just the beginning.”
Here are details of the this record‐setting run of Billboard 200 #1s for independent label artists:
October 3 ‐ Mumford & Sons/ ‘Babel’ (Glassnote) debuts with 600K
October 10 ‐ Mumford & Sons/ ‘Babel’ (Glassnote)
October 17 ‐ Mumford & Sons/ ‘Babel’ (Glassnote)
October 24 ‐ Jason Aldean/ ‘Night Train’ (Broken Bow) debuts with 409K
October 31 ‐ Taylor Swift/ ‘Red’ (Big Machine) debuts with 1.21M
[Editors note: The next three highest‐selling albums to date this year are these major label releases – Justin Bieber 'Believe' (374K), Madonna 'MDNA' (359K) and Pink 'The Truth About Love' (280K).]
Independent music is setting more records this busy fall. On October 17, Billboard reported that Mumford & Sons’ ‘Babel’ and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “The Heist” (both independent albums) marked only the second time the top two selling albums on Billboard 200 have been indie releases since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991.Then it happened again the following week with Aldean and Mumford & Sons.
This string of record‐busting independent releases (including A2IM members Glassnote Records and Big Machine) are the latest and clearest signs of how the thriving indie community has turned the market upside down. According to Billboard’s Q3 SoundScan report, Indies hold over 30 percent of the overall market share and outweigh each of the major labels based on master ownership (not distribution).
10/31/12 (UPDATE) NEWSDAY: A2IM’s above Press Release and a quote by Rich Bengloff was picked up in Newsday’s Backstage Pass
11/1/12: (UPDATE) ROLLING STONE: A2IM’s above Press Release was picked up by Rolling Stone Magazine’s Weekly Chart Recap (paragraph three)
A2IM is a not‐for‐profit trade organization serving the Independent music community as a unified voice representing a sector that comprises over 30% of the music industry’s market share in the United States (and almost 40% of SoundScan digital sales). The organization represents the Independents’ interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. A2IM is headquartered in New York City.
The organization’s board of directors is composed of the following: Daptone Records General Manager Cathy Bauer; Sub Pop VP of Business Affairs Eric Brown; Epitaph General Manager Dave Hansen; Yep Roc Records Co‐Owner Tor Hansen; Alligator Records Founder/CEO Bruce Iglauer; The Beggars Group Founder/CEO Martin Mills; Glassnote Records General Manager Chris Scully; Naxos of America CEO Jim Selby; Tommy Boy CEO/Founder Tom Silverman; Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans/Secretly Canadian Founder/Co‐Owner Darius Van Arman; Razor & Tie COO Victor Zaraya.
For more information, or to become a member, please visit a2im.org.