startrecordlabel.com Something that many artists are considering is to Start a record label. But is now a good time to do it? What about downloading - how does it affect thing? Check out this video keynote with online music marketing expert Hagop Tchaparian
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Have you been disillusioned by the corporate labels and thought, “I should start my own independent record label?” If so, you’re not alone. It is getting harder and harder to get contracts with the “Big Five” labels (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Group, Warner Brothers Music and BMG Entertainment) in today’s climate, and that leaves a lot of artists out in the cold. This is where the small, independent—or indie—labels come into play.
Starting an indie label is definitely a big undertaking, but there are a lot of compelling reasons to do it. First of all, it is a way to get new artists’ music heard. The Big Five tend to focus on the musicians that are already making them money, and it can be nearly impossible to even get a demo heard. A smaller label can choose who they want to represent, and they can do it according to whatever criteria they find appropriate. That is to say, they can produce music they like, rather than just rehashing the same stuff with different (or the same) artists.
If you are thinking of using your label to promote your own music, there is another benefit—time. You don’t have to wait around for someone else’s schedule. You can release your music whenever you’d like. This leads to another great thing about running your own indie label: you have much more creative control over your work. There is no corporate big-wig telling you how to make your music. You also maintain the rights to the music, so you are free to do whatever you’d like with it; and you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission. That can translate into earning more money by getting your songs onto compilations or used in movies and commercials.
Releasing an album through an independent label is relatively inexpensive when compared to doing it through the traditional means. Of course, the cost is out of your own pocket, however—and this is a big one—you can actually make more money selling fewer albums. Because the production and promotion budgets are small, it takes far less sales to recoup the costs than it does for an album that has had a lot of financial backing. That means that the artist and the label both start seeing profits with significantly less sales. Of course, the small indie label has to work hard for those sales, setting up web sites online and promoting live shows. Still, your work may have potential to make more money through an indie label than it would with the Big Five.
One final consideration for someone who is thinking about starting an independent record label is the sheer sense of satisfaction that it can bring. Creating something like this can fulfill your desire for adventure and your entrepreneurial spirit, and seeing your completed album brings a sense of accomplishment unlike anything else. If you are hoping to produce music for other artists, you will be able to help them feel that amazing sense of accomplishment, as well. It takes a special person to build a successful indie label. Maybe that person is you.