Yamaha has launched its own in-house label in the US and is offering artists a 50% share of recorded music revenue.
The label, Yamaha Entertainment Group, is a part of Yamaha Corp. of America and was born out of the instrument manufacturer’s two-decade relationship with Elton John, according to Billboard.
British rock band and Rocket Entertainment Group act Leogun is the first signing to the recorded music arm.
"We started with artist endorsements using Elton 18 years ago, and our relationships with artists have continued to evolve," Yamaha head of artist relations and founder of Yamaha Entertainment Group Chris Gero told Billboard. "We liked this act because it's exceptional and served as a good way to represent an exceptional product."
Despite challenging times for recorded music, Gero added, “It's actually the best time to be seen or heard. It's very natural for us to step in as a global music company and say, 'This is why this artist is important.'”
Bands on the Yamaha label could find themselves with strong marketing opportunities in the near future. Gero said that the company was looking to push its own name into more mainstream US markets.
Acts on the label will be featured in Yamaha ads as well as keeping 50% of recorded music revenue
"Though everybody fancies themselves a guitar player, the actual buying population for musical instruments is about 6% in the US," he said.
"Traditionally, what we've done with advertising has been print, down to the dealer level. But we need to compete against larger market manufacturers, and the best manner to get that messaging out is through artists.
"We're keeping the overhead very low, keeping the marketing very current and very focused," Gero added.
"The artist is going to be able to surround themselves with people who can finance and produce and market at a higher percentage. We're giving up a lot more territory to an artist than a traditional label would."