You know what should be questioned? Always? Why does it takes 500k in sales for a single to break even? And who is the company serving when they deny access to the fans and sales to the artist?
If the major labels want to believe that there is some magic they have when it comes to picking talent and producing music and that it will always cost $50,000 to produce an album of 12 songs, then yea, “… she’s all yours” ;)
They seem bound and determined to leave the barn door as wide open as possible for a whole generation of great mySpace singers to be produced by a distribution of musicians where the first “single” is produced for $2,000 (ProTools and some decent mics) and every single after that is $0 – and where their fans assume they can stream the artists’ music without friction.
God forbid they should try to partner with the struggling music service to perhaps come up with a solution somewhere above Mutually Assured Destruction.
Meanwhile in the non-label scenario the artist is pocketing tens of thousands instead of entering into the a Faustian deal with a loan shark that expects her to go into debt for a crazy, un-repayable vig to a company that owns 100% of her music just so they can refuse to allow her fans to hear the music or music sites to sell the music.
One of these scenarios *does* sound crazy.
Look, I don’t want to fix major labels, I don’t want bring them down – I just don’t care about them any more. They really are, in the end, irrelevant. I read Coolfer every day so I think I get what the arguments are. But I’m also pretty clear that there is an irreversible, undeniable trend in which better and better musicians are finally catching on to the devil’s lottery scam known as the major label recording contract.