“For a certain kind of artist, say someone who wants to be the next Justin Timberlake, the majors still have a unique value. For a rock band, for someone who wants to be the next REM, they don’t. And that’s why you see an artist like Arcade Fire — it has the number one album on Merge Records and sells out two nights at Madison Square Garden.”
The power of alternative media, touring and the Internet work to a smaller rock band’s advantage, says Goldberg, but the labels still have the advantage in country music and overseas. But in the U.S., multi-rights deals are standard now, says Peoples.