Are you an independent artist who wants to add some credibility to your music? Or are you a music-lover who wants to add to the success of unknown artists that you love? Or possibly you are a music producer who wants to publish the records of artists you have produced? Then understanding how to start a record label is a must.
What is a Record Label?
Record labels are companies, large or small, that manufacture, distribute, and promote the recordings of affiliated musicians. Essentially, record labels work to sell the brand of the artist and the products they create. There are various different departments within record labels that work together to best sell their products and artists.
It is no secret that the internet has transformed the world, and the music industry, probably more than any other, has benefited from this transformation. In the past, record producers could not make it without the support of a record label, however, today’s record labels may be started for next to nothing compared to the past. In this guide, we will discuss how to start a record label.
Step Guide for Setting Up Your Own Record Label:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to start an independent record label than just registering it with the state. We have put together these simple steps to starting a record label.
1. Select Genre
Although it may seem simple, selecting the music that will be sold is a very important choice in the music business. The moment musicians across the world learn that you are launching a music label, they will be clamouring to join in. Take your time and research well before starting an independent record label.
2. Select A Name
After that, you will need to come up with a unique brand name for your record label company. To make your own record label, investigate your competition and how they are branded. Creating the appropriate sort of identity to start a record label is very crucial, especially in today’s globalized digital era, when your brand’s identity will serve as your storefront.
3. Create Brand Appearance
In the same way that your record label’s name is important, you will also need to create logos and brand identity for your company. Preserve a straightforward appearance that is easy to read. Take some time over your logo to start a record label successfully. If you want to be taken seriously, your brand needs to look professional. You can also consider hiring a freelance designer for a professional logo.
4. Build a Website & Register the Name
What is the approximate cost of establishing a record label? A website is one of the most probable first expenses. Websites provide a central location for your clients to go to learn all they need to know about you, your releases, gigs, videos, and, most significantly, a store where they can purchase your products. You can choose a web provider or hire a web designer for a professional website.
5. Ensure Your Music Sounds Good
Because this is the product you will be selling, your songs must sound polished and professional in appearance. Two factors might detract from the quality of a track: the arrangement and the mixing. To start a record label, compare your tracks against your competitors on different speakers and playback devices, including inside a car. Mastering can cost money but will always be worth it for those who want to look professional and sound professional.
6. Market Your Music
Previously, there was no way to create a record label without having money, but nowadays all you need is time and an internet connection to get your name out there. It is time to start generating some excitement about your new songs, logo, and website design. Try and be active on social media, but don’t swamp your audience with pointless personal information. Start building a database of email addresses and start a newsletter with updates and free giveaways – people love free stuff!
7. Know the Contract
Now that you have put in the effort, why not start reaping the financial benefits of your artists? If your label is distributing music that was created by other artists, be certain that your agreement with them is fair and legally enforceable. Negotiate terms and conditions and document them. You must fulfil the legal requirements for starting a record label in India.
8. Live Performances
Although the amount of money we spend on purchasing and streaming music is growing, the amount of time we spend going to see our favorite musicians perform has increased dramatically. Playing live is the most effective form of publicity and will result in a significant increase in the number of units sold.
9. Collect Royalties
The process of collecting royalties takes time, and there is often a time lag of at least six months, so you should include this into your release strategy. Incorporate yourself with the PRS and the MCPS and learn about their services, which include registering your recordings and receiving publication revenue.
10. Pay Tax on Time
When the money begins pouring in and your songs are certified platinum, you will be required to pay income tax at a proportion of the amount earned. That is the law, therefore be certain that every pound and cent is properly accounted for. If your label is releasing other people’s music, you’ll also need to pay them, this of course is subject to your agreement.
As you will see, starting an independent music label is fairly easy in terms of branding, getting a digital distributor, getting on social media and websites. Starting a record label in 2021 is the scouting of brilliant artists and the major financial investment that is the biggest challenge.
Record labels will always have to take risks, which is why so many labels look for artists who are already successful. And that would be a good place for you to start. Start by signing up to only 1 or 2 artists and working with them closely and as a team to build both your label and their music careers.