Gamma updates the record label
The Future. Former Apple exec Larry Jackson is launching a new record label called Gamma with some of the biggest names in hip hop. Armed with a business plan that lets artists keep ownership (a recent desire for everybody from Taylor Swift to Kendrick Lamar), Jackson may be at the forefront of remixing the power dynamic of music in the streaming era.
License to license
Larry Jackson is creating a record label for the artist-ownership era.
- Jackson’s Gamma is launching with $1 billion in funding from investors such as Todd Boehly’s Eldridge, Apple, and A24.
- Gamma’s pitch is that he’s an “alternative to traditional record labels,” per Bloomberg. The focus is on long-term licensing over ownership so artists have more control.
- And artists love the sound of that — Gamma will soon release music from Snoop Dogg, Usher, and Rick Ross.
- And to avoid needing to partner with a major label to distribute music to streaming services, Gamma has acquired distribution pipeline startup Vydia.
Gamma is also already looking into content creation outside of music — it has struck deals with A24 for films and The Shade Room for podcasts.
No size fits all
For those wondering, betting on Jackson (who worked for Clive Davis and Jimmy Iovine) is a good bet.
- While at Apple, he convinced Drake to release his music on Apple Music before it went up on other streamers.
- He convinced Frank Ocean to cut out a record label and release his new album exclusively on the service as well.
And now, with Snoop Dogg, Gamma is showing just how innovative it can be. When Snoop bought Death Row Records, he pulled all of its music from streaming and was deciding on what to do next. That’s when Jackson pitched him a unique way of getting the music back out — dripping some of Snoop’s spoken-word songs from Dr. Dre’s The Chronic on TikTok to build buzz.
The plan worked, and the songs blew up (again). Now, with Gamma, Snoop Dogg is planning to put all of Death Row’s music back up.