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Rather Than A Record Label, How about a Musical Affinity Group?

Rather Than A Record Label, How About A Musical Affinity Group?

If the Record Labels have a future maybe it needs to be a different future?

I was reminded of this a bit, two years ago, when Topspin’s CEO, Ian Rogers, penned an open letter to Guy Hands, the head of (struggling) EMI, suggesting that rather than think of itself as a “record label” focused on promotion and distribution (two things that are easier and cheaper than ever before), it could instead focus on being the smart filter for music listeners today, struggling to find the music they love amidst so much musical abundance in the world. The suggestion was to take some of the key, iconic, bands under the EMI roof, and put them under affinity-based “mini-labels” with other less well known bands, that would appeal to people who liked the more well known band. It seemed like a great idea, which, of course, EMI has not done.

Then again, isn’t Apple’s new Ping in iTunes heading in that direction, but with a more social component that doesn’t really require the record labels?