And The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Madonna Dumps Record Industry

Source for this post is Techcrunch:

Since reporting Monday that Nine Inch Nails had dumped its record label and was to offer future albums direct to the public, Oasis and Jamiroquai have also joined the move away from the record industry, but the biggest announcement of all is news today that Madonna has dumped the record industry.According to reports, Madonna has signed a $120million deal with L.A. based concert promotion firm Live Nation to distribute three studio albums, promote concert tours, sell merchandise and license Madonna’s name.

Whilst the deal differs from Nine Inch Nails in that Madonna is not offering direct-to-public albums, Live Nation isn’t a record company. The deal shows that even for a world famous act, a record company is no longer required in the days of digital downloads and P2P music sharing.

The only real question now is how fast will the music industry model come tumbling down. When Radiohead led the way in offering their music directly to fans many predicted that the move was the beginning of the end; Madonna may well be the tipping point from where we will now see a flood of recording artists dumping record labels and where todays model will shortly become a footnote in Wikipedia.

Update: More over at Techdirt:
Next Up To Ditch Record Label: Madonna
from the quite-a-week dept

It's been quite a bad month for the record labels, huh? Kicked off by Radiohead's ditching record labels in order to embrace the new business models that the record labels insisted were dangerous to the industry. In retrospect, it looks like they were just dangerous to the record labels (gee, who could have predicted that?). The latest huge name to ditch a record label appears to be Madonna, who is apparently siging a huge deal with a concert and merchandise promoter instead for over $100 million. She'll still be putting out albums through the promoter rather than the label. There's no indication if she's going to use this to free up some music, but the point should be pretty clear. The money is in concerts and merchandise -- the stuff that the music makes valuable -- not in the music itself. While EMI's new owners have made some noises that maybe they understand what's going on, there's a good chance that it's way too late for the old labels. They had their chance to embrace fans, new technology and the music itself -- and they spent 8 years suing the fans and the technology instead. It's reached the point that college kids are now organizing to protest the RIAA. It's becoming increasingly clear that the labels weren't helping musicians very much either -- and now it appears to be payback time. This isn't the "fault" of piracy. This is the fault of shortsighted recording industry executives who had every chance to understand the economics at play and instead chose to attack everyone (and there were lots) who pointed out to them where the market was going.