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The Deli NYC #55 - Half Waif, NYC MixCon 2018

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“First and foremost, it’s

about the songs. If the

songs aren’t great, there’s

only so far you can go.”

More info

about the labels

involved with physical of course, so there’s always a strong

argument to seek digital growth. But physical is still important

to us and our artists. Also, technology has had a positive

impact on neighboring rights revenues as it’s finally starting to

force improvements in the global structure of PROs. Everyone

knows about neighboring rights now—a very unsexy subject...

M: Streaming is about 70% of our overall business. CDs are

still relatively strong though. They’re still the dominant way to

purchase music in big territories like Japan. The “Peak Vinyl”

thing is a myth, too. That’s based on major labels finally putting

their Prince, Neil Young, Beatles etc. records back in print and

SoundScan collecting that info. Before the “Vinyl Boom,” a lot

of records were selling a lot of copies; Billboard just wasn’t

collecting the info on it as most vinyl shops weren’t reporting.

N: Some would say CDs are back, baby! (When you can buy

vinyl at Whole Foods and cassettes at Urban Outfitters, compact

discs are the hip dead media on an upswing.) But the

reality is that labels need to constantly be on the look-out for

revenue streams in all forms.

Is there any other physical merchandise that’s worth the

manufacturing/distribution hassle?

Z: If the demand is there, definitely. In fact, I’m confident that

there’s always going to be a market for high-value physical

product and merchandise for the right artists. Music is an

emotional, intangible product and the very nature of people

means they want to “wear” something they feel connected to.

M: We kill it on cassettes. Not enough to buy a house, but we

do really well with them.

N: Fool’s Gold makes everything from coffee mugs to turntable

needle cases. If it exists and we can make it fun and

special, we’re down.

Started in 2007 by DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs,

Fool’s Gold Records brought the underground

electronic and hip-hop scenes to the forefront of

independent music. Some of their earlier releases,

such as “Day ‘N’ Night” by Kid Cudi and the first

self-titled album by Run the Jewels, helped shape

popular music as well. Since then, Fool’s Gold has

been signing some of the most cutting-edge electronic

artists from around the country.

Captured Tracks was founded in 2008 by Mike

Sniper, who first used it for his own band Blank

Dogs. A decade later, the label has become the

home to some of the most influential artists in their

respective genres and many popular indie bands.

Signing the likes of Mac DeMarco, DIIV, Wild Nothing

and Perfect Pussy, the label has shown it can

be host artists who specialize in several genres

within the indie realm.

Beginning with a focus on tailoring artist specific

needs, Partisan Records has grown many

independent artists from the ground up. Early on

their catalog boasted acts like Deer Tick, who focused

on a blend of alternative rock and Americana,

but as the label grew, many diverse artists

released their debuts with the label. Electro-pop

group Sylvan Esso and acts like IDLES and Cigarettes

After Sex are part of its growing roster.

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