Surviving in a Major Label World

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Necessity isn’t the only mother of invention. Ambition sires a few discoveries, too. This is demonstratedly apparent among Country artists who record for independent labels-often their own. Without the promotional resources major labels provide to ensure national distribution, major market airplay and relentless publicity, indies have to find other avenues and methods to sell albums and tickets. But, with digital technology lowering recording costs and the Intemet providing a worldwide storefront, many such acts are thriving. CMA Close Up polled several indie artists to ask how they survive in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

A former marketing executive, Lynn Bryant put that experience to work to sell her current album, Woman Enough, on Sunrise Productions. “As an independent artist,” Bryant said, “I knew I had to come up wilh a way of marketing mysell beyond the normal channels of distibution”.

“She struck a deal between her company, Sunrise Productions, and Ferguson Enterprises, a chain that sells plumbing and construction supplies to both wholesale and retail customers. She picked Ferguson, she explained, because it represented an industry with which she was already familiar. Although Ferguson has more than 3,500 locations woridwide, Bryant began her campaign with 21 stores in Georgia and Texas.

Under this agreement, Sunrise Productions purchases the cd’s and then sells them to Ferguson Enterprises on a no return basis. Sunrise also provides Bryant’s and other artists music videos to play on the store’s monitors at each of the locations. Bryant said she hopes to include other new artist in this campaign once it gains momentum. “It’s just rolling out now,” she said, “but the opportunity is very large.”

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