There are more artists that are realizing that they can make more money if they actually DON’T sign with a record label. Technology has forever changed how the music industry works, and artists can now reach their fans more directly than ever before. This wasn’t always the case, as artists of all genres used to rely on the distribution model of a record label to make sure that their physical units were sold. These days, a band can sell their album directly to fans, which Radiohead did over a decade ago. However, record labels still remain integral to the music industry as a whole.
Steve Stoute is one of the most respected entrepreneurs in the music industry, and he believes that there’s a chance that the music industry, as we know it, might be “finished”. He explains that if Drake, one of the biggest artists on the planet, decides to go independent – the music industry might be “done.”
There have been a lot of questions about Drake and his record deals for several years now. He is still signed to Cash Money Records, although that deal is expected to expire relatively soon. Many analysts and experts also question how much money Drake is making off of his music, given the fact that Lil’ Wayne has had issues with Cash Money CEO Brian “Baby” Williams” about money owed. For those who are unaware, Lil’ Wayne had to sue the record label before finally reaching an eight-figure settlement.
There will still be megastars that are backed by large record labels, but there’s no denying that it would be a gamechanger if Drake decided to go independent. Other large artists could potentially follow suit. Stoute, a former record executive, believes that record labels know that Drake is in a unique position and will do anything and everything they can to make sure that he remains signed.
Input From Russ
Stoute discussed Drake’s leverage with an independent rapper by the name of Russ, who has managed to land on the Forbes List while also remaining independent. Russ believes that Drake should go independent, and believes agrees that the entire music industry would “be turned upside down” if Drake did make the decision to go independent.
Either way, Stoute believes that Drake will make a tremendous amount of money. He states that Drake is about to get “the biggest bag in the history of the music business by far”, although he didn’t hint at a particular amount. Drake has previously signed a deal with Apple for a reported $19 million, but it would take a lot more money for the Canadian rapper/singer to remain signed to a major label. This is understandable when you consider that he was the first artist to cross the 50 billion stream threshold – and accomplished this in 2018. Will Drake decide to go independent? Only time will tell.