Basic Functions In order to produce income in this stream, a record company, usually referred to as a label, gains control over a master recording of a performance by an artist and then sells copies to consumers. Usually this takes the form of signing the artist to an exclusive recording agreement with the label, producing a recording, then manufacturing and marketing copies of that recording for ultimate purchase by consumers. The label therefore has two basic functions that it must perform: acquire masters and market those masters. The acquisition of masters is discussed in detail in Chapter 7 on the production and A&R function; marketing is discussed in detail in Chapter 8. This chapter examines the overall market structure of the recordings stream and the structure of a typical individual label within that stream.