Fame Monsters: The State of the Major Record Label Discusses Future Music Trends at Butler University

Thirty years ago, there were only a few paths to the national stage. Indianapolis bands (and bands around the United States) had to “pay their dues,” schlep their instruments and equipment from dingy bar to dingy bar, play for pennies and free beer, and drive around Central Indiana in beat up Aerostar vans, all for a chance to send a demo to one of the major record labels and hope for the best. Getting signed was the be all, end all: once that happened, you were on your way, and you could have all the rock n’ roll excess you desired. Today, bands still need to play their required amount of dingy Indianapolis bars, but the rise of the Internet has led to the rise of musical freedom. Albums that used to take three weeks of expensive studio time to make can now be created in a bedroom for the price of a four track mixer and a computer. What does the Internet revolution mean for the music industry? That’s the focus of a Cameo Carlson’s presentation at Butler University on Thursday, February 10, 2011, part of Butler’s Leadership Through the Arts Forum Lecture Series entitled “Fame Monsters: The State of the Major Record Label.” If you have an interest in the future of Indianapolis music and the Internet, be at the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall in Indianapolis at 7:30 to hear industry insider Cameo Carlson discuss the present and future of the former gatekeepers of American music.

Cameo Carlson is currently the executive vice president of Universal Motown Republic Group, where she manages most e-sales (mobile, online, and digital), promotion, and marketing. But she’s been a major player in the music industry for some years now, from her time as Rock Music Director at AOL Music to her stint as Label Relations and Music Programming Manager for Apple’s iTunes. Carlson has worked in almost all formats, from regular ‘ol FM radio to satellite radio to ring tones. Actually, she broke the record for mobile ring tone sales one week, and she’s been behind three of the top 10 highest selling digital albums. As part of her role with Motown, she’s promoted artists like ‘Lil Wayne, Amy Winehouse, Drake, and Jack Johnson. Cameo Carlson is also involved in several musical organizations, including the Country Music Association, the Grammy Recording Academy, the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network, and the National Association of Female Executives.

Bands and smaller labels have long been finding ways to get their albums to their adoring public, including free online album streaming, pay what you want albums (Radiohead did it with In Rainbows in 2007 and countless others have jumped on the “bandwagon” since), and per song online purchases, a method Carlson used when promoting Owl City’s second album, Ocean Eyes, in 2009. In an interview with Billboard.biz, Carlson said “I think digital as a whole is still very exciting…I think it’s about finding new ways for fans to connect with artists through experiential marketing and sales. I think there’s access people have never had before. For fans, it’s an exciting time. It’s up to us to really care what the fans want, what they’re looking for, how they connect, and using that to our advantage to market that properly.” Fame Monsters: The State of the Major Record Label will certainly have a lot to do with digital sales.

If you’re interested in learning more about the attempts being made by major record labels to modernize and keep up with the growing trend of digital music, Butler University this Thursday night would be a good place to start. Cameo Carlson’s presentation, Fame Monsters: The State of the Major Record Label, goes through the ins and outs of the current trends with the Big Three record labels and their efforts to stay afloat in a world of increasing D.I.Y. capability. This Indianapolis event is absolutely free, whether you’re student of the Indianapolis school or not. Fame Monsters: The State of the Major Record Label will take place at the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall at Butler University on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 7:30 p.m., and there will be an open reception after the talk. Part of the Leadership Through the Arts Forum Lecture Series and the Howard Schrott Media Arts Lecture Series, Fame Monsters: The State of the Major Record Label is an informative event for any Indy music fan.

Fame Monster: The State of the Major Record Label
Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: FREE
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Butler University
Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall
4600 Sunset Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46208

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