It's been a long time coming - But here we are!
The idea for this record label started back in 2008, smack in the middle of the financial crash. At the time, I owned and operated Studio 88 in Val-des-Monts, Canada, and wanted to do more to help artists get their product out there and have a chance to be heard, even possibly make a little money.
At the time, the record industry (or lack thereof) was in shambles. CD sales had been falling like a lead zeppelin for years, and downloads hadn’t yet caught up. I had no idea where revenue would come from, and apparently the labels had no idea either.
So the prospect of starting a label didn’t seem like a very promising plan. But that’s never stopped me from forging ahead with crazy ideas in the past…
I pursued my studies of the music industry in general and the record label industry in particular. Starting a label doesn’t appear to be too complicated right? Everyone is starting labels these days. Hey, just buy a domain on Godaddy, setup a website on the Wordpress platform with a free theme, and you’re ready to go. Within a few days, you have a label. Not.
My idea of opening a label was a little more serious than that. I wanted to do it for real—not just some virtual pipe dream. In my usual fashion, I kept researching and studying, reading every book and article I could put my hands on.
This continued for years, sometimes interrupted by things like building a new studio and such.
All the while, the industry kept chugging along slowly. Paying downloads started creeping up, eventually surpassing CD sales. In the meantime, however, a new player in the field had emerged: streaming music stations.
Initially, these stations didn’t look they would be very successful. I mean, most people weren’t willing to pay for subscriptions, especially because they had grown accustomed to using paid downloads sites. Why pay to rent music, when you can easily own it? But some industry experts saw the writing on the wall, and predicted the onset of a new model. “Music like water,” free for everyone. The idea seemed crazy at the time, but I too could see this happening. It made sense, with the advertising industry paying the royalties.
Of course today everyone, including your grandmother, takes streaming music for granted.
Fast-forward ten years, and now we have a semblance of a business model. Streaming stations have pretty much taken over; download sales are down, and CD sales are non-existent. It’s a new world.