Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Just a few days after my post of the economic impact, we learn Equity Music Group has suspended operations immediately (announced yesterday.) About 15 employees are now without jobs, and co-founder Clint Black, and his signed artists Laura Bryna, Carolina Rain, Kevin Fowler, and Blake Wise are left waiting for a decision on what the label's future is.
From reading as much as I could from the news reports, the suspension of the label isn't dealing with talent of artists or the very interesting concept of how the artists were compensated for the works, rather, this statement was reported:
"Our investors tried to find a way to keep the doors open at Equity, but with a struggling industry, an overall decline in discretionary spending by consumers and a freeze on credit markets, the board of directors have been forced to make this difficult decision. We want to wish our wonderful staff and artists all the best in their future endeavors."
The statement doesn't seem to mention anything about the label itself being the problem. Nothing noted about how the label and the artists are equal; the artist and the label get paid based on each album sale. Nothing about being independent making a difference is noted either (however being a small company, they sure don't have the funds like the larger labels to sustain in times of financial hardships.) It does mention the credit markets and the spending habits of consumers. That's the issue here, not anything else I believe.
The label was launched in 2003, and I remember reporting about it and what an interesting concept this was, and how awesome it was to have Clint Black on his own label. The music he released on his label certainly was incredible, some of his best works, no doubt. I am going to miss this label. I certainly hope that Clint Black will continue to find an outlet for his music and that the idea of a business model like his vision can return.
The reports quoted one more line in the reports on this topic quoting the statement released... "It's a sad day at Equity today"... well, its sad day for country music as well...