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Sillerman Scares The Majors

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Robert F.X. Sillerman has once again shaken up the entertainment industry, this time with a simple statement: “The music industry distributors cling to a business model that not only doesn’t make sense, frighteningly, it’s now not necessary.”

Sillerman’s comment, made earlier this month at the Billboard Music & Money Symposium at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, stopped short of declaring the death of the major labels, but came close enough to spook them.

“The myth of major distributor muscle is going to end,” he said, according to New York Newsday. “Tomorrow’s creators won’t seek or need traditional label or radio support because they and their audience never wanted it needed it for validation. If that next generation’s star – from a generation reared on the power of the Internet, peer reviews, downloads and online communities, etc. – wants to sell music, they may be able to do that without a traditional record deal and they know it.”

Newsday referred to Sillerman’s vision as “undoubtably correct,” but pointed out that the majors could “save themselves from extinction.”

Following the hype of Def Jam artist Ne-Yo’s “In My Own Words” selling 301,000 copies to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, the paper examined the traditional, but expensive, publicity drive on radio and video channels, full of high-profile appearances and promos. Def Jam decided not to release Ne-Yo’s single, “So Sick,” to internet retailers until the album release, however, which the company viewed as the main factor for the album’s huge release.

The No. 3 album on the charts, however, struck an impressive chord for the indies.

Hawthorne Heights, an emo-rock bank that sold 114,000 copies of its “If Only You Were Lonely” album on the independent label Victory Records, used the strength of word-of-mouth advertising and Internet marketing. A similar sensation was that of the virtually unknown UK act Arctic Monkeys, whose first pressing nearly sold out in its first week.

Victory Records rallied Hawthorne Heights fans with an email on the night before the album release, saying “Independent needs to beat Major tomorrow. If all of you take action we can create history. Your support means everything to us and is the most valuable thing that we have. …You hear our voices every night. Now, we need to hear yours.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers