It is no secret that mainstream music today is controlled by the major labels. By controlled, I mean owned. They decide what comes out, when it comes out, and who it reaches. They also control how much the artists get paid from their music. Effectively, this mean the labels, not the artists(the people truly responsible) own the music.
The artists, though they’ve long had feuds with the label executives over extent of control, still need the labels to do 2 jobs: Mass Promotion and Mass Distribution. The labels, with their big budgets and bigger connections, essentially control mass promotion and distribution, thus giving them an excessive amount of control over the people who need those two things the most: the artists.
This situation of control, which borders on extortion, because the artists have little other choice, has created the occurrence of a silent salary cap in music.
This can all be led back to the fans. The fans either don’t know, or don’t care enough, where the money for the music actually goes. Because the fans don’t care, there’s nothing pushing the labels to give artists better deals. They own control over mass promotion and distribution, thus control over the artists, and nobody has a clue about what they’re doing, except for the artists. Continue reading