Kobalt Shifting the Way Artists Rule The Industry

For those of you that don’t know, Kobalt is an independent music publisher that has created software to provide income to artists allowing them to own their own rights. Their streaming “label,” AWAL or ‘Artists Without A Label’ serves as a distribution and other services for artists acting similar to a record label without signing your rights away as an artist. AWAL’s software gives a transparent insight into income, audience demographics, and streaming performance.


Kobalt is a threat to major labels because owning your own rights and access to data and wider revenue streams is tempting for both up and coming artists, and legends that have already signed with Kobalt like Paul McCartney, and Lionel Richie. The way AWAL works is it lets artists own their rights while only taking a 15% cut, and providing the marketing support that a label does.


As the streaming scales, artists are able to build self-facilitated careers that aren’t hindered by the pressure of radio hits and label culture. Services like Kobalt take on the reverse label model and are setting the precedent for artist-friendly sustainability. As they so cleverly state, “the culture on the ground is moving faster than the music business. Get behind the future.”

Will this threat to the standard music label be enough to change the industry permanently?

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