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, or licenses others such as movie companies, games companies, or mobile phone service providers to use the master. Usually this takes the form of getting the artist to sign an exclusive recording agreement with the label, producing a recording, then marketing copies of that recording for ultimate purchase by consumers through downloads or physical copies. 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 9 (on production and A&R functions). The marketing functions are discussed in detail in Chapters 11 and 12. This chapter examines the overall market structure of the recordings stream and the structure of a typical individual label within that stream.