Tips for Starting an Independent Record Label
Starting an independent record label is a rewarding venture for music enthusiasts who enjoy music but are not musicians themselves. It allows those with business sense and financial knowledge to immerse themselves in their local music communities.
Traditional corporate record labels are notorious for taking advantage of musicians. They pocket most of the profits from album sales while paying the musicians mere pennies per unit sold. Starting an independent record label is a very easy process. All one needs is a way to make and sell albums. The individual who is running the label can burn copies of CDs and sell them for a few dollars at gigs. If the artist has adequate savings, the music should be recorded at a proper studio and then professionally mixed and mastered onto manufactured discs. This will lend an air of professionalism to the label, even if all profits are handed back to the rapper. The label’s function at this juncture is to book the studio time and orchestrate all aspects of the CD manufacturing. After the albums are completely finished, it is up to the label to go around to individual book and music stores and ask them to carry a few copies of the album. The label can also take on the work of promoting gigs and ordering merch such as t-shirts and pins. If the artists on the label do not already have management, the label head or someone else working there may decide to step into that role.
Before Starting an independent record label, one must make a plan concerning money. A label owner may have to spend some of his own money on new bands before starting to see profits, and agreements for recouping that money need to be hammered out before money is made. A label owner should also see a lawyer and have a real contract drawn up for artists to sign. Contracts may not hew to the grassroots spirit of independent music, but they are the best way of making sure that everyone is working toward the same goals.