Maybe you like to read. Below are some of the details behind REB Records.
The consumer of music…
REB has a goal to have a clear, easy to navigate website that is accessible on all devices, and allows the fan to access music and support the creation of that art. We would love to have the artists up on other sites where consumers may browse, and while we have artists up on other sites where consumers may pay for convenience, this is not a focus for revenue. You may ask “why?” and the answer is that if cultural norm has moved towards an “everything is free on YouTube, or Spodify or Sound Cloud, etc…” then there’s a million hours that can be spent trying to manage and make money with Downloads and CDs, and to push those, but to no avail; because it’s free on thirty other sites!
So check this out. It is frustrating to pay $10 on iTunes, then see the same thing for $4 on Amazon, and then HD quality for $0 on YouTube. Fans and supporters of Art (all types) need to feel that they are “getting something for their dollars,” and in that case REB is acknowledging this payment is generally for convenience and perhaps the enlightened fan who wants to directly support the artist. When you buy a t-shirt or a hat or a beer, you are the only owner of that specific item; it is analog. This is true of physical records (vinyl) as well, but starts to break down at CDs where every copy is literally exactly the same; it is digital. REB wants to encourage fans to support artists in ways where it is win-win; where the artists and the label and the consumer are a happy menage-a-trois, working together to create and enjoy art.
Now on to what REB is about…
REB Records recognizes that art costs cash. The traditional model basically makes the artist deficit fund any project. Working and helping artists who cannot stop making their art, despite cost and critique, is the mission. As a small label, the founders (with backgrounds as songwriters, performers, composers, engineers and managers,) hope to work with artists to create unique albums, songs and live performances (and possibly experiences) that music fans can appreciate.
The point is to find a way to keep creating art. When fans buy merchandise, music, tickets, show up to a show and pay a cover, license a song for a TV show, movie or commercial, they help artists keep creating. (In general when one buys music this is true, but with traditional artist agreements it is a pretty dismal percentage towards artists, around 10% after all expenses for the project have been paid. REB has this at a 50/50 split and is covering production costs.) REB would like to facilitate this relationship by providing skills, tools, space, organization, and other means of support for great artists, and to do this while NOT putting the artists into debt.
For example, the last couple albums REB completed would probably cost around $100,000 – $200,000 to the artist. This would include all songwriting, arranging, orchestrating, performing, space, equipment needs, tracking, editing, mixing, mastering, art design, distribution, web development, and marketing (which is ongoing.) The artist does not owe this money, we’ve essentially eaten the cost.
Now the artist does have to give something up, right? I mean there is no business in taking on all the risk without any reward. So REB has the exclusive rights to those recorded versions of the songs in perpetuity, as well as the art work which can be used on merchandise and advertising. BUT it is not an exclusive artist agreement. The artist can go sign with another label, can re-record the songs (with the song-writers consent,) can play them live, they just cannot sell them. Oh and if there is placement, merchandise, or other monies they get split 50/50 (after the costs associated with that particular item) with the artist! A shirt that costs $10 to print, and sells for $20, artist get $5 and REB gets $5.
As artists ourselves, this seems like a situation we wished to have had earlier in our careers. The music is free anyway, and streaming is what people do now, so it allows the artist to keep creating, yet keep a large portion (much more than the industry standard, like 5 to 8 times more) of income generated by these works.
If you got this far, congrats! We are still working out details, talking to many artist and lawyers to find where the weak spots are and how to best move forward in an industry that is shifting everyday. Please feel free to contact us if you have thoughts or ideas, we’ll get back as quickly as we can.
– REB Records