ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Start Your Own Record Label: How To Set Up A Record Company - Part 1

Updated on March 2, 2013
Source

How To Start A Record Label

Although it's clear that the music business is a highly competetive industry to be a part of, the internet has resulted in a much fairer playing field for both musicians and fans alike. Although all the musicians in the world are now in competition with each other, the internet also brings with it the potential for major success aswell as some very cool tools for musicians, viral marketing being one of the most effective.

The internet opens up a whole new world of opportunities that anybody can put to good use. In this day and age even a teenager can start a record label from the confinements of their own bedroom. However, establishing a reputation and building a customer/fan base will inevitably take some time and depends on a lot of things including your ability to pick out the best artists, your promotional skills and the image that your record label portrays.

Your record label should be of a certain niche so you need to choose your genre(s) wisely. You may want to start off with your personal favourite genre and establish that first, then you can always expand in the future.

A&R

A&R stands for Artist & Repertoire, this is the division of a record label that essentially signs and drops artists to the label. A skill for filtering out the gems from the rest of the music out there is an absolute necessity required for this role and it's not just about the music either.

You also need to be able to identify the best unsigned musicians by their songwriting skills, production talent, being able to pull off live performances and most importantly the potential ability of generating sales, whether selling music, merchandise or tickets to live gigs.

Are they reliable?

Are they dedicated?

Do they have a good following?

Do they gig regularly?

Do they take their music career seriously?

Doing your research is of the utmost importance.

Fortunately there are now plenty of filtering and analytics websites out there doing a lot of the work in digital A&R which can be of a great help to labels, broadcasters and publishers. You can check out sites like analytics and financing engine Slicethepie, fan-funding and investment website Sellaband, ReverbNation who have charts for each local area and Amazon to see which unsigned artists are rated the highest and who are doing the best online.

Instead of performing A&R yourself you could even ask your customers to vote on which artists you should sign. It ,makes sense to give your customers what they want. In fact, there are a lot of things you could ask your customers to help you with, as you will find out later in this article.

Funding / Finance

If your record label isn't offering artists anything that they can't do themselves then they're not going to be interested in getting signed. The one single most important thing that the majority of unsigned artists need is funding - the cost of recording studio time, mixing, mastering, distribution and promotion is anything but cheap and artists could do with all the help they can get.

However, this doesn't necessarily have to be finance. If you have music industry contacts then you could offer representation or promotion or both (and more) in some kind of incentive package awarded to each artist that gets signed to your roster.

You could also be flexible in offering either exclusive or non-exclusive deals, most artists would much prefer a non-exclusive deal these days, the downside being that their music will be available to buy elsewhere so you will undoubtedly need to promote your label.

In terms of the traditional methods employed by the majority of record labels, the label usually pays the artists costs for recording, mixing, mastering, production, distribution and promotion and uses their knowledge and contacts to achieve this. £100,000 towards one album is not an unusual deal for artists signed to a record label though these costs are recoupable - the label owns the rights to the music and the artist only starts earning a percentage of their royalties once the label's original investment has been recouped from music sales, live performances, merchandise, etc.

Getting signed to a record label is a lot like having a very large loan with the advantage being the knowledge and contacts within the music industry that can potentially propel the artist into the mainstream.

However, only one artist in every twenty that gets signed to a major record company actually goes on to make a profit and only the most successful artists stay on the label's roster.

On average, it takes £560,000 ($1,000,000) to break a new artist into the mainstream.

Read Part 2 - Read Part 3

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Sparkster 

      6 years ago

      Thanks David, plenty more info to come!

    • davidmoral profile image

      David Morales 

      6 years ago from Modesto, California

      very true nice info Sparkster

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)