Thursday, January 18, 2007


The recent announcement that dependent is calling it quits raises some interesting questions. Obviously some of the bands on their roster were'nt finished their contracs, and likely won't be by the time Dep shuts its doors in the spring/summer.
So the big question will be, what happens to the bands? We've seen many scenarios in the past where a label dies, and then bands can't release anything for years because they're locked up in legal hell. Will all of the bands on Dependent get some sort of release? If so, will they be shorted money for not getting to live out their contract? Will some of them owe money?

Another interesting question is, what will happen to their back catalogue? Will all of dependent's stuff go out of print? It may not be TOO big of a deal, since a lot of it has been licensed to Metropolis...but some albums, like SVD's "Hope," were not.
It's fair to assume that there may be a special clearance sale on Dependent titles in the near future, coming to a retailer near you.

This whole situation has stirred panic in some people. Battery Cage, for instance, who should probably just feel lucky that 3000 people even downloaded their album. In the end though, it's important to remember one of nature's eternal rules: The Strong Survive. Bands putting out product that's solid enough to make a connection with its audience will do fine. Good records inspire loyalty. Look at Combichrist. "Everybody hates you" was released right in the prime of the downloading era, yet it has gone on to become the biggest selling album ever released on the Out of Line label. It will be interesting to see what happens when "What the Fuck is Wrong with you People?" is released in March.

I'm also curious as to why Tommy T keeps bitching about iTunes. I guess if you run a shop dealing strictly in pre-recorded music on a physical medium, yes, it would be a pain in the ass...but the train rolls on. Consumers have the right to choose how they want their music delivered, provided it's legitimate. iTunes pays the labels approximately 70 cents on each song sold (assuming the song is the usual base price of 99 cents.) Of that 70 cents, the actual artists typically sees maybe 10-15%. On 70 cents, that adds up to 7 to 10.5 cents per song. Most albums sell for 9.99, so for a full album sale they're looking at 70 cents to a buck-o-five. So really, itunes isn't serving the artists any better or worse, so it's pretty ridiculous to be calling apple the fall of western civilization.

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