The Collective Artists Cooperative

Presenter: Dimitry Marcelin

Research Category: Humanities and Arts
Student Type: Graduate
PI: Richard Strasser

The equitable relationship between artists and record labels in today’s current system heavily favors labels over young and inexperienced artists. I propose a business model that provides an equal footing by affording shared governance, responsibilities, and revenues between the multiple stakeholders in the music industry.

The Collective Artist Cooperative represents a new paradigm in music recording organizations. This organization serves as a central hub to provide artists increased freedom by hiring them as employees for project based work. Under the traditional label model, artists are hired as independent contractors that are locked into biased long-term contractual agreements and only compensated for their music recordings after a label has recouped its cost. The Collective Artist Cooperative challenges this approach by hiring and paying artists baseline salaries and providing equitable royalty payments based on a project’s success. The result is a shift in the dynamics of the industry where artists are able to take entrepreneurial control of their careers to thrive in the digital age.