Do artists really want their labels to act like a bank?

That’s the question that comes to mind when I hear the hubbub around the industry about the advantages of the artist services concept – and its potential as the future of the music business.

I remember watching a live trade show panel about one particular artist – an independent icon, no less – which finished with that classic conclusion: ‘They no longer need a label to be successful.’

Of course, if you are an established artist the services model can be very attractive. But I was left thinking where the artist in question would be had it not been for years of hard graft undertaken by an independent label – a label which nurtured them in their early years and developed them into a global success.

This kind of discussion always begs the question: is there still a place in the modern marketplace for the independent label and for independent A&R?