As president of Koch Records, the No. 1 independent in the United States, it is my obligation to counter MySpace’s effervescent statements that patronized the independent labels and informed us that we were being offered the same deal as the majors. In a nutshell, MySpace has given equity to the majors in what appears to be an unhealthy and anti-competitive arrangement while treating the indies as second-class citizens.
A recent MySpace quote regarding Carrie Underwood shows a mind-boggling lack of understanding of the marketplace, or, as I like to say, the field of battle. It’s as if zero market analysis was done. It reads as follows: “If MySpace features an independent or unsigned artist next to a major-label artist like Carrie Underwood, that helps drive traffic to the non-major label artist.”
Incredible! For our upcoming Hatebreed and Bubba Sparxxx records we can only hope to be so lucky. Koch Records has been the top U.S. independent for seven years running. We have had many platinum downloads, ringtones, hit singles and No. 1 albums. Last week we had the No. 1 independent album in the States with DJ Khaled’s latest. Maybe if we had positioned him next to Underwood, we would have done 60,000 copies instead of 50,000 the first week. We’ll never know. We don’t need to be close to Carrie (although I do wish she was signed to us).
The global independent sector includes many labels like Koch. We are a public company with a global presence and our peers are the many other labels including Beggars, Domino and Epitaph that have global hit artists who will be massive drivers of value for MySpace. Yet MySpace seems to view the indies as…
Click here to read Bob Frank’s full opinion piece, including his thoughts on how the equity agreement with the majors reduces competition, an “obvious solution” for the indies and more.