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Interesting point, that. Although consumers are, indeed, increasingly purchasing tracks individually and/or listening to them one at a time via taste-targeted streaming aggregator sites like Pandora and Spotify, it's still full-length releases that remain the stock in trade of both Team Love and Fat Cat. But as a format, is the album dying? "There are two realities for listening to music now," says Krenkel. "And as a listener, streaming services are certainly not the only reality I'd want to have access to. But as far as albums going away, I don't see that happening anytime soon. Besides being a format that gets you to take an artist's work more seriously, an album is expressive unto itself, with the way the songs are sequenced and presented to the listener. And even though being assaulted with endless suggestions of other songs by other artists you may like based on whatever you're listening to at that moment might sound like a good idea at first, where's the feeling that comes with discovering an artist or record on your own? That's one of the most enjoyable experiences of being a music fan, and the labels that are known for releasing new and interesting music are still a key part of that experience. So to say record labels are no longer relevant is bullshit. Actually, it seems like there are new labels starting all the time now."
Pierce's outlook is similarly undimmed as he points out that great indie labels can be artistic filters, with passionate music lovers who follow their outputs in much the same way they follow their favorite bands. "In the clubs in Brooklyn, or wherever, the 'cool factor' of the music changes all the time," he observes. "You need labels to be there, at the street level, following it and releasing it. So however the music ends up being marketed and distributed, there'll always be a need for record labels to do that."