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Record labels deal with the marketing and promoting of music recordings and music videos. They will scout out new talent and help them develop as an artist and often form long lasting relationships. The size and scale of record labels can vary from huge international companies to small independent labels.
Contracts will be signed between artists and labels which can often tie artists in for a number of years. The main aim for the label is getting the artists music heard and their albums bought.
Record labels deal with a whole range of responsibilities. Artists will rely on record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, organise concerts and promote their music on the radio and television. Viral marketing has also become a huge element of the music industry with artists such as Justin Beiber being discovered on YouTube. Record Labels must use this source of free marketing to its full potential.
An artist will normally sign into an exclusive recording contract where the label will take a percentage of the artist's royalties.
Individual record labels are often under the control of an umbrella organisation called a "music group". The industry is dominated by three major labels: