Launching Your Own Label
Launching your own label – why everyone wants their own record company.
Why is everyone and their gran starting records labels? Pop princess Katy Perry is one artist who recently advised many in launching your own label. What has made her decide to do this? There could be a number of reasons and one of them is obviously more control over music and revenue.
Major labels have so much power over artists simply because they have a vast amount of financial support. They also have a team of employees to do various important tasks within the label so to be honest they have corporate identity. Smaller independent labels are much more passionate about music and although they do not have the major label power with regards to money, they do have the commitment and work ethic to promote and release music they love. Will Katy Perry have the independent label passion and attitude? maybe or maybe not but she will have a wedge of cash to throw behind the label and to promote her artists because Capitol Records (who own Katy’s label) are obviously there to do exactly that which takes away the indie feel of her company.
The revenue stream is not always the golden ticket to success. Remember Madonna’s Maverick label? apart from Alanis Morissette, The Prodigy and Deftones, there were hardly any huge hits on the label. Maverick was also owned by Warner Brothers eventually and now that Maverick is no longer in operation the artists on the label are now signed to Warner Brothers.
Launching your own label
The downside to running a record label of your own is time. You will need to spend many hours getting the label prepared for the music market including getting the following important points organized before you launch:
- Branding, design and artwork
- Artists and music style
- Source of promotion (DJ & radio support)
- Distribution and digital aggregator.
- Social Media presence
As you can see there is plenty of factors that you will need to take into consideration before you start releasing your music and other artists music. There are enormous benefits to signing your music to another label because you can allow them to have the pressure of promoting and marketing your music to the world which takes numerous hours, days and weeks to get your music heard by the masses. To have control over all of this is also of huge benefit to you as a label owner or artist because you can see what is happening financially with your label accounts. If you release your own music on your own label then the satisfaction of all your hard work is enormous and you get to keep all of the revenue but, this comes at a price and that’s time and effort. You are not only producing, writing and mixing your own music but releasing, marketing and promoting it too.
If you are deadly serious about launching your own label, you will need to look at the various digital distributors that are scattered around the internet and work out which one is more suitable for you.
Here are a small list of available distributors that will get your label and music onto the big digital stores:
This is a brief list to get you going. You must remember that you will still have to do your own marketing and promotion although some distributors offer tools that can help you with this. Label Worx has a tool called ‘Promo Worx’ which helps you set up templates for sending out mp3’s to DJs that you will need to market to. The DJ and radio list is another job in the long line of tasks that you will need to do for running your label. A great way of starting to get your list together is by messaging DJs on Facebook. You can search and add DJ friends to your Facebook page and message them asking for their email address so you can include them in your ‘mailing list’. Everyone wants free music yes? This is a free way of creating your promo mailing list and the only cost for you is time.
There are various paid methods of DJ promotion which takes out the hard work of building a DJ mailing list.
The following companies already have a huge DJ and radio database that they can send your music to.
So that sums it all up in a nutshell. You must remember that launching your won label is not a walk in the park but can be highly rewarding if you get it right. There is another way of creating awareness for your label and that’s launching your own club nights (if you are a dance label) or featuring your bands and artists at a label night held at a local venue and then branching out into other areas. This will also take a fair bit of work but the promotion will be enormous for your label and roster if you get it right.