How To Start A Record Label


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Creating a record business plan

You must love and recognize your definition of good music. There are many facets to this business, so each day is exciting and different.

Starting a Record Label – How Much Does It Cost?

Here are a few of your key responsibilities. Go to bars, clubs and other performance venues where your signed bands are playing and find out who your customers are in terms of age, fashion, education level, and lifestyle. This will help you determine how to target and communicate with your audience. Music is sold today in a variety of ways, including through both digital and physical channels. Fans buy vinyl records, compact disks, MP3 files and streams from websites such as Spotify. In addition, labels can earn money through licensing deals involving use of the music in soundtracks in film and television, and in commercials and video games and other commercial outlets.

Additional income might be generated from digital and satellite transmission, such as by Sirius Radio.

Is It Still Worth Starting A Record Label In 2018? An Investigation

The cost of entering the market is also relatively small, with online-only distribution possible. However, unit sales can be modest. According to this source , about 90 percent of released music fails to break even. So you might want to keep the day job until your music breaks. You must have an ear for music and not be easily discouraged. Once you're ready to start your record label, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:.

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are:. Choosing the right name is very important. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your security guard company is sued. Consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant. You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business. Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business.

Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state. Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors. A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer.

You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers. Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state. One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need. Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

So is a thorough understanding of the various revenue streams and distribution channels involved. Make your music and band news available on Facebook Groups, YouTube, SoundCoud, Pandora, Spotify, and other venues where fans hang out or find new tunes. Try to get to the point where your label means something to an audience. You can run your label alone until you have the cash flow and need to draft talent scouts or a support team. Try to form working partnerships with trusted producers, engineers and sound studios to rein in production costs and deliver a consistent sound.

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a record label. Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets your home, car, and other valuables are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil. Recommended: Learn about the best small business credit cards here. To learn more about maintaining your LLC's corporate veil, read our guide and protect your personal assets.

A record label is generally run out of a storefront. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy CO. A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met. Prices are pretty much determined by the market. On the other hand, the label and its talent can snag more than half the cost of an iTune download. Distributors sell your records to music outlets for a small fee. Distribution is pretty complicated these days. Although securing distribution is important in the long run, it is often not mandatory right off the bat.

Your distribution is only as good as your own promotion. But you must eventually get distribution for your label. Hello world! This just means you get to look for—and hopefully find new and amazing music everyday. It also means you get to help the artists you signed release the best music they can. Music Publishing Companies are the hook up. They seek licensing and sync deals. The ensure that your artists are being properly compensated for the playback of their music.

Labels play an important role in setting up publishing deals for their artists. Get your artists paid! Your label is a brand. Your logo is crucial. It will represent you forever—on and offline. Keep in mind that it will be everywhere. Having a solid logo will help you determine where you will go with the rest of your design. Press Kits help outlets understand what your label does. Every artist needs one.

Setting Up A Record Label 10 Steps To Setting Up Your Own Record Label

They typically contain:. You need physical press kits and electronic press kits EPK. Physical press kits are good for face to face meetings, or reaching contacts where you want to make a special impression. But EPKs are more important to have in the current climate of the music industry. Keep your press kits simple. Press kits with too much reading are ineffective and often get glossed over.

Focus on the key points of each artist and keep things concise. Once you have your press kit they can be shared to distributors, booking agents, attorneys, or anyone else that you need to reach out to. Your label needs to be a strong marketing tool for your artists. A major aspect of this is social media.

Music Business Worldwide

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and are all good places to keep a consistent profile. These platforms will create a more personable profile for your label. Use them to promote upcoming shows, new releases, press and other content that is related to your label. Share your content on all your platforms. Reaching as many listeners as possible is key. Keeping your visibility up on social media gives you times to focus on your next release. Soundcloud is an excellent place to generate a good presence. Their follow and feed system allows labels to generate their own profiles and interact with like minded online communities.

This also gives you a space to post radio content, mixes, teasers, demos and live recordings that will keep your buzz up.


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Most independent labels have their own Bandcamp pages that group all of their releases together. So you need to get one.


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Additionally, each artist on your label can have their own Bandcamp page as well. This gives you multiple online selling points. You need to also secure a booking agent. A booking agent will take care of all touring arrangements for your artists. Touring is a great way to promote the labels material and get your artists paid.

Once things are running smoothly hopefully and you have your first couple releases out the door multi-platinum right? Small successes allow you to take some slight risks. So take them. All good labels have to evolve. Skip to primary navigation Skip to content. Use Streaming Platforms billion songs were streamed last year in the US alone. Labels grow out of groups of like minded individuals who want to give something back to music.

How To Start A Record Label How To Start A Record Label
How To Start A Record Label How To Start A Record Label
How To Start A Record Label How To Start A Record Label
How To Start A Record Label How To Start A Record Label
How To Start A Record Label How To Start A Record Label

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