The Rise of the Nonprofit Popular Music Sector – The Case of Netlabels
Music, Business and Law. Essays on Contemporary Trends in the Music Industry. Edited by Antti-Ville Karja, Lee Marshall and Johannes Brusila. Helsinki: IASPM Norden & Turku: International Institute for Popular Culture, pp. 65-90
26 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 21, 2012
This article presents the results of research on netlabels (also called virtual record labels, web labels or MP3 labels) which promote and distribute free music over the Internet. Music distributed by netlabels is released under Creative Commons licenses, which means that it can be download free of charge, while at the same time an artist retains copyright. As shown in this paper, virtual record labels very rarely have any chance to earn money and do not aspire to do so.
The aim of this article is to identify key characteristics of netlabels, show how they differ from traditional record labels and outline the motivations of their founders. The paper is organised as follows: the relevant literature on music marketing is reviewed in section 2, the concise definition of a netlabel is presented in section 3, research methodology is discussed in section 4, results are presented in section 5 and conclusions are presented in section 6.
Keywords: netlabel, virtual record label, recording industry, music business, Creative Commons licenses, nonprofit popular music sector
JEL Classification: L31, L82, Z1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation