Look Before You Leap: What Record Companies (and Book Publishers?) Can Learn from Merge RecordsBy Steffen • Jul 6th, 2009 • Category: 26th Story, Big Ideas, Business, Entertainment, Music
NPR’s piece about the 20th anniversary of indie record company Merge is fascinating and possibly instructive. While large record companies (and book publishers) have overextended themselves and now need to scale back, Merge has succeeded by choosing new artists carefully and marketing them frugally. And even when they have hits (Spoon, Arcade Fire) they continue to warn their artists to keep expectations in line with reality. The result is credibility with critics, music fans and artists alike.
So the question is: can Book Publishers follow suit? In a time where creative ideas are welcome, perhaps we need only look at Merge Records to realize that trust, cautious decision making and staying grounded may lead us in the right direction.