Music Business Journal: The Publisher as a Record Label

Evan Kramer
October 28, 2010

At the start of the summer of 2010, the release of the self-titled debut album from Oklahoma rockers, Taddy Porter, signified a landmark shift in the music industry. While sales were low and chart time only lasted a week (peaking at 24), the band's debut still merits significance as one of the first major releases to be recorded, developed, and managed by a music publisher.

As cost-cutting major labels continue sending departments to the chopping block, publishing companies are beginning to pick up the slack by opening shop in areas outside their traditional business. Primary Wave, in particular, has become a pioneer among a new breed of publishers. It is one of the largest independent music publishers in the world, and has climbed to its rank in a relatively short time. Founded in April 2006 by a former Virgin Records executive, Larry Mestel, the company has established its reputation controlling the rights to the catalogs of, among others, Kurt Cobain/Nirvana, Steven Tyler/Aerosmith, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Founding Members of Chicago, Steve Earle, and Bo Diddley. Primary Wave also retains co-publishing deals with artists like The Airborne Toxic Event, Saving Abel, and Blue October....

Read more about publishers as record labels in Berklee's Music Business Journal.