Extropian Records: Let's Build a New Music Industry

Image by Maggie Zander


Extropian Records is a nonprofit record label that offers artists the benefits and support of a label without seeking profit or ownership of copyright. What we offer is an alternative model for enabling musicians to sustain their careers and gain exposure for their music. Any profit that Extropian makes beyond its initial investment will by law be funneled back into the pursuit of Extropian's mission: To enable musicians to thrive and to deliver powerful and brilliantly conceived music to the public.

Music is part of the fabric of culture. It is in the public interest that music be produced and distributed widely, and that artists be rewarded for and sustained by their work. A for-profit intermediary is not the only option for enabling musicians to succeed and their music to be heard.


The music industry, as it has existed for the last 120 years, is coming to an end. In that period businessmen and engineers converted the sounds produced by musicians into objects (cylinders, records, tapes, CDs), and then sold them, much as you would any product. After all was said and done, the artists who created the music might receive anywhere from 0 to 50% percent of the profits, and more often than not lose ownership of their masters. That model is still very much in play but it is no longer the only option. The creation, replication, promotion and distribution of recordings is newly and exponentially more accessible. That accessibility makes the old music industry upon which corporations and executives built fortunes increasingly unnecessary. One side effect of the success of the old music industry was that society at large started to view music more for its commodity power than for its mystical, cultural, intellectual, and transformative power. Music is magic, and the industry built around it was designed to serve the purveyors of business not the conjurers of that magic.

Independent Labels have presented themselves as the antidote to the "greedy majors." But indie labels mostly employ the same for-profit templates invented by major record labels. All major record labels, after all, were originally independent. Indies and majors seek the same thing: profit from music as a third party. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the for-profit models of traditional record labels, but we believe that a nonprofit record label can serve the cause of music more effectively, creatively and humanely.

Extropian Records seeks to lessen the interference between fan and musician caused by profit-seeking business models, while still offering the capital, exposure and opportunity that an independent label would.

We are looking for people interested in helping to build this new model.

email: extropianrecords at gmail dot com to get involved.

César Alvarez

follow: @musicisfreenow


oxana said...

How about music copyright? It's also time for new ways in this field. Look for instance at http://www.villamusicrights.com

Unknown said...

additionally, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft

Chris B. said...

ever hear of http://www.cashmusic.org ? just FYI. go for it man, good luck!

César said...

Thanks for your comments guys. Esp Chris, cashmusic is amazing I'm so glad you posted the link. They have the exact same mindset that I lay out here.