Musicians are Entrepreneurs too

Pozen’s observation that the traditional, business entrepreneur is today not the only one associated with the definition of “entrepreneur”, is no truer than in the instance of modern day music artists.

Traditionally, musicians signed “360 Deal”s with record labels, where they would be represented by the record label but also contract away a significant¬†portion of their earnings for that representation.

Recently, artists like Chance the Rapper have defied this tradition by remaining record label free–instead preferring to produce and sell their music directly to consumers and without the protection of a brand name company backing them. The spirit behind this move is definitively entrepreneurial– viewing a problem in society/industry and directly addressing it; feeling constrained by set rules and taking efforts to break or go around those rules; paving a new path outside of traditional norms.

This strategy has most certainly paid off. Chance was awarded a Grammy for his chart’s topping streaming success, and other artists like Frank Ocean and Lupe Fiasco have followed his path. Furthermore, Chance has earned a loyal fan base, who support his endeavor by purchasing his merchandise and attending concerts–the two avenues by which he makes the most of his money.

As for how the law is involved in this, the ABA has noticed the impact of this entrepreneurial growth within musicians and advises legal counsel representing artists to “negotiate, negotiate, negotiate” for their client’s interests–signifying that the law is itself adapting and utilizing its means to aid this growth.




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