A record label, sometimes known as a record business, is a brand or trademark used to identify music recordings and music videos, as well as the firm that owns the brand or trademark. The management of such brands and trademarks, coordination of the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos (collectively referred to as "artists and repertoire" or "A&R"), as well as the maintenance of contracts with recording artists and their managers are all responsibilities of a record label, which is also known as a publishing company. The word "record label" comes from the circular label in the middle of a vinyl record that prominently shows the name of the maker, as well as other information. Within the mainstream music business, recording artists have historically relied on record labels to help them expand their customer base, advertise their albums, and promote their songs on streaming platforms, radio, and television. This has changed in recent years. Record companies also offer publicists, who help artists in obtaining favourable media attention, as well as arranging for their goods to be made accessible via retail shops and other distribution channels.
They may be tiny, localised, and "indie," or they can be a part of a big worldwide media conglomerate, or they can be somewhere in the between. An "international corporation" according to the Association of Independent Music (AIM) is defined as "a multinational corporation that (along with the businesses in its group) controls more than 5 percent of the global market(s) for the selling of records or music videos." As of 2012, there are just three labels that may be considered "major labels": Sony, Warner Bros., and Universal (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group). According to AIM, the majors had a combined worldwide market share of about 65–70 percent in 2014.
- "label (n.)". Online Etymological Dictionary. Douglas Harper. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
- "Independent Music is now a growing force in the global market". Musicindie.com. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2019.