Posts Tagged ‘Music Industry’

Music Contracts 101: Exploring Recording Contracts

Monday, November 30th, 2009
Veronica Lane asked:

Were you aware that you don’t have to be a lawyer to write or create your own music business contracts? As a musician, it is understandable that you may not fully understand the business side of the music industry. Even if you are starting your own record label, this is not at all uncommon. Luckily, there are solutions for those people who cannot afford hundreds, even thousands of dollars, just to have lawyers write your recording contracts. As well as solutions for people who have no idea how to write music contracts.

Whether you own a record label or are trying to get signed to one, you have come to the right place. Legal fees are entirely too expensive, especially if you are just starting out. I mean, you can always write your lawyer an I.O.U. or have your lawyer recover their fees when you start generating profits. But who wants to do this? It is like giving away your money just to have to some recording contracts written when you could go about this using a cheaper method.

Using the services of a lawyer when handling music business contracts could amount to thousands of dollars. Do you have the money to deal with that? Most people starting out in the music business do not. You now have the option of purchasing hundreds of pre-written music contracts and recording contracts online. This is a fantastic route to take because it will save you a ton of money in the long run.

The types of music contracts that you may need are for your Record Company, Management Team, Recording Artist, Agents, Producers, Songwriters and Publishers, just to name a few. Purchasing iron-clad, industry standard pre-written music contracts and recording contracts is the best way to go if you want to save money but protect your company or your career at the same time.

You are in complete control of your career or business in the music industry. Stay that way! Don’t throw away thousands of dollars on lawyer’s fees for something that you can take care of yourself. By purchasing a wide variety of standard recording contracts, you will be on your way to saving money on legal fees and handling your business the way you want it handled.

Ten Tips for Starting Your Own Indie Record Label

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Kc Smith asked:

A lot of people dream of starting their own independent record label, but for most it is a fantasy that will never become a reality. However, there are a number of musicians and music fans out there that are creating their own alternative to getting a recording contract with a major record label. These folks put a lot of hard work and a bit of their soul into producing, promoting and distributing the music that means so much to them.

Here are a few how-to tips (in no particular order) based on what they’ve learned:

1. Check with your local government to see if you need any licenses. The people at the licensing department are used to dealing with folks who know very little, and they are a great source of information.

2. Learn as much as you can about the music industry. If you’re going to be a player, then you need to know the rules of the game. Once you understand how the industry works, it’s easier to take your place in it.

3. Find talent. If you’re planning to release your own music, then you’ve already got this one licked. If not, then you’re going to need to convince some band or musician that working with your label is in their best interest. (Following step number two above will help you sound a lot smarter during this conversation!)

4. Get yourself a web site, and make sure that people can order your products online. You might consider selling merchandise for your label or band in addition to music.

5. Make sure that you’re creating a good product. While one of the benefits of starting your own indie label is that you can produce any artist you desire, if you want to make a profit, you should probably consider the actual talent of your talent!

6. If you can swing it, get yourself a barcode to mark your products. This will help official sales numbers for the label. If one of your albums starts selling really big, it could actually end up on the charts because it was being tracked.

7. Create a business plan. This is pretty much essential if you’re looking for funding. If not, it’s still a good idea because it forces you to sit down and think through all the how-to aspects of starting and running an independent label.

8. Keep accurate records of your sales and expenses. You will have to file taxes on your business, and this will be infinitely easier if you have kept track of your income and “out go.” Setting up a checking account for all your business transactions can be really helpful for this purpose, and you’ll get updated statements from the bank.

9. Get some decent contracts for use with your talent and other vendors. There are plenty available online, so do some research to find out what will be the most useful for you and your label.

10. Get business cards made. Be sure to include your name and that of the label, along with any contact information. Don’t forget to include your web site address (for those online sales). In addition to having business cards made, make sure you have business cards with you at all times. Give them to prospective talent, possible business connections, and your family (they’ll be really impressed). Having business cards helps make you more legitimate, and they are a great marketing tool.

The Independent Record Label Dream

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
Ty Cohen asked:

Owning your very own record label is a dream that will become a reality for many. Anyone can do this! From the artist who just wants their music heard, to the manager, promoter or producer who is sure they have found the “next big thing.” Maybe you are sick of trying to secure another release with some other label. So, why not make your own label a brand in itself. Sometimes you just need someone to get you on the right track when deciding how to start an independent label.

The real exciting thing about the music industry is that aside from the legal rules and regulations, there is always room for innovation. Innovation can come from anything, high quality music, a great business idea or an original or exciting idea. With any of these, success in learning how to start a record label is right around the corner.

Let’s start with all the ways you can fund your label. First you can use capital or personal savings. If that is not available to you then you also have bank overdraft, loans from friends or family, loans from a bank or loans from owners or directors. Loans might come easier if you can convince people you know how to start and run your own record label.

If your budget requires you to start out small, that is ok. You don’t have to be loaded to figure out how to start a record label. All you really need to do is complete the product/record and get it released. The key in the beginning is obviously to generate some profits or at least break even.

Low budgets often don’t allow for a huge amount of marketing. This is where the internet will be your most powerful ally. There are so many powerful tools on the internet for Indie record labels that it is unbelievable. From MySpace to WebPages to CD Baby, a service that caters to Indie Labels, learning how to start and run your own record label isn’t hard with all these options.

So, your homework is to write out a starter budget. What will you have for expenses? Where will the income be generated from? And most importantly, create a solid business plan. Then write out a timeline that includes a one to five year plan. Consult with others in the industry; gain as much knowledge as possible. Educate yourself on the ins and outs of the biz and you will be one step closer to success.