2. Major – Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment are a subsidiary of Sony Corporation, having been formed in 1929 as the ‘American Record Company’. On the 1st of July 2011, Doug
Morris became the CEO of SME. The company soon went under a restructuring after Morris’ arrival at the company, being joined by many influential people in the
Sony Music Entertainment has branches across the world, with Sony Music Korea being a good example. Here they have many Korean bands and also work to
promote western artists to an international audience.
As well as that, Columbia Records UK operates under Sony Music. Some of their artists include Madeon, Rita Ora and One Direction.
An independent label that has its music distributed by Sony includes Ultra Records. They’re an electronic dance music label with huge artists like Calvin Harris,
Alesso, Zedd, Steve Aoki and Skrillex.
3. Independent – Warp Records
Warp Records was founded in 1989 by Steve Beckett and Rob Mitchell. The name was initially Warped Records,
but because it was hard to distinguish the name over phone, it was soon changed to Warp Records.
Warp’s first release, ‘Track with no Name’ by Forgemasters, was financed by a grant and distributed by a borrowed
car. Success soon followed and they then earned their first top 20 chart hit with LFO, by LFO, which sold 130,000
Since 1989, Warp Records have had 92 artists on their books and perhaps most notably Maximo Park.
4. Successful Promotional Campaigns of an
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ album ‘The Heist’ was released independently through Macklemore’s own label,
Macklemore LLC, it went on to sell more than 1.2 million copies. However despite producing it by himself, he
didn’t get it out to audiences all by himself.
Soon after ‘The Heist’ was released Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hired an independent arm of the Warner Music
Group, the Alternative Distribution Alliance. The ADA helped to get music from the album played on radio, and
from there the music snowballed into becoming more popular.
Macklemore said a year later on his website that working with the ADA was everything he had hoped for;
maintaining their independence with access to the radio and therefore the masses.
This type of campaign is a little different to others as Macklemore set out himself to get what he wanted and
didn’t wait for people to come to him. By doing this, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis maintained responsibility of
their own music but are still able to get it out to the masses.
5. Successful Promotional Campaigns of a Major
The Weeknd’s 2015 album, Beauty Behind The Madness, was promoted in a variety of ways by his record label, Universal Music. Three songs were
released before the release of the album, the first being ‘Often’ on the 31st of July 2014, ‘The Hills’ on the 27th of May 2015 and ‘Can’t Feel My Face’
on the 8th of June 2015, before the album was finally released on the 28th of August 2015.
To initially promote the album, The Weeknd performed ‘Cant Feel My Face’ at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, on the 8th of June. As well
as this, he performed at numerous other festivals in America, such as Lollapalooza in Chicago, Made in America Festival in Philadelphia and
Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle. These performances helped get the album out to more people as The Weeknd’s audience grew quickly.
To also help promote the album, Ed Sheeran, who appears in a song on the album, revealed to Beats 1, a subsidiary of Apple, that he will appear on
the album. With Ed Sheeran being such a big star, all over the world, having him on the album helps to promote it even further.
On July the 9th, The Weeknd poster on Twitter the title of the album and shared the album artwork, therefore building more hype before the eventual
release of the album.
The Weeknd has appeared on many TV shows since the release of his album including The Graham Norton Show in the UK, and Saturday Night Live in
The use of a secondary audience has also been a good way to help promote the album. On ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’, Black Simon &
Garfunkel and Art Garfunkel sang ‘Can’t Feel My Face’, and to this day has over 850,000 views.
In conclusion Universal Music’s efforts to promote The Weeknd’s album has been very successful in selling over 400,000 albums in the first week of
the album being released.
6. Comparison between the major and
Warp and Sony Music are very different as they both operate on completely different scales. Sony Music being
the conglomerate have a much larger reach to customers than Warp, primarily because their budgets are
In 2013, Sony’s operating income was £1,261,334,379. This is significantly more than Warp X’s £227,000 revenue,
which results in Sony being able to send their artists on to TV Shows, like they did with The Weeknd and paying
for radio air time, meanwhile Warp often rely on help from radio DJ’s looking for the next big thing so that they
can help. On top of that, Sony Music has over 277 artists compared to the 92 artists of Warp Records. Therefore
meaning they have much more streams of revenue than Warp.
Warp will rely on word of mouth to get the music out to potential audiences, while Sony are able to dominate
things like Social media channels, like Twitter and Instagram, as their artists are considerably larger than Warp’s.
For example, Justin Bieber, who is apart of Universal Music Group, had a hashtag ‘What Do You Mean?’ and
counted down the days to when his new song was released. On top of that, he was able to use celebrity friends
such as Ellen De Genres, Shaquille O’Neal and Tony Hawk to help promote the album by getting involved in the
countdown, therefore reaching a much larger audience as these people appeal to different people with different