With the extensive reliance of the music industry on streaming’s profitability, artists and streaming companies have more industry clout than ever. This new landscape has produced a large number of effects, from rappers getting unheard of contracts to streaming giants like Spotify allowing artists to bypass labels entirely in distribution.
In this new landscape, new ‘label hybrids’ are seeking to capitalize on these trends, carving out niches for themselves in a landscape long dominated by major label monopolies. These new endeavors blur the traditional lines between publisher, distributor, royalty accountant, and other functions in order to promise a more flexible alternative to the traditional label model.
OneRPM, for example, has taken this kind of model in international markets, securing higher revenue shares for clients and strong market shares in Latin American countries. Emmanuel Zunz, CEO and founder of OneRPM, markets itself as a more cooperative partner with artists minus the bureaucratic ties that characterize older artist-label models:
“We have a video production studio in New York City to [create] content. We’ve signed artists, so we’re a label. We’re diversified, but people look at our website and say, “Oh, they’re just another CD Baby or TuneCore-type company.” That’s the interface we have right now and what we’re communicating. By the end of this year, we’re going to have a different experience, one that accommodates different types of customers. We also have non-music YouTube channels and our website does not communicate to them.
If somebody wants production support, we give it to them. ONErpm Studios is a separate company, and if you are part of our network and have a certain amount of subscribers, you can use our facilities for free. We’re basically copying the YouTube model within our network.”
Whether such a novel type of company can succeed in the constantly changing music landscape has yet to be fully seen, but surely we will continue to see new experiments come to the fore and challenge traditional label models.