The latest ad supported music experiment comes from the new company Rcrd Lbl which is a joint venture of Downtown Records (Gnarls Barkley, Cold War Kids) and a journalist and entrepreneur who founded the technology blogs Gizmodo and Engadget.
Rcrd Lbl is a cross between a music label and a blog. The releases will be posted on the company’s Web site for free downloading. In order to attract viewers the site will offer eye candy including articles, social-networking features and internet radio stations. The company has signed up 3 big name advertisersÂ and will rely on multiple revenue streams.
Of course new models will bring new schools of thought. For instance, artists with songs on Rcrd Lbl won’t get a cut of advertising associated with their music instead they will get advances. Advances range from $500 a song for unknown artists and $5,000 for bigger name artists.
Will this experiment work? Who knows, it all comes down the quality of acts and the ability to expose these acts.
Album sales have fallen 14% this year compared with last year, a trend that shows no sign of reversing. Given those “sobering” numbers, Mr. Deutsch says, “if you’re not trying to monetize the experience of sharing music, you’re slowly going out of business.”