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What Goes Into Starting A Music Record Label

music record label
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The music industry is quite different from how it used to be. Indeed, the digital transformation in the music industry has led to widespread changes in how it operates. Look no further than the rise of the indie music record label, and you’ll notice a shift in the balance of power. Billboard’s article on the music industry details that independent labels have managed to balloon in size, as more and more artists have opted to go the non-traditional route.

And why wouldn’t they? Artists such as Chance the Rapper have shown time and time again that being signed under a mainstream label is no longer a prerequisite to success. Given the rise of indie music record label & labels, some of you may be thinking about starting your own. While it isn’t impossible, there are some things you have to take into consideration to start your own record label. To help you out, we’ve been going to present three important factors to consider when starting your own label.

Find Talent

Now, there’s a reason why musicians make up the bulk of our list of the ‘5 Highly Paying Jobs in the Music Industry’. A record label is nothing without great talent. Whether this is the bands and artists themselves or the people that work behind the scenes, finding the right talent is key to the success of any record label.

So how do you go about finding talent? Well, going around the local gig circuit is a great way to find fresh acts that are ready to take the next step. These acts are also likely to have already built a following, making your job infinitely easier. Another way you can look for talent is through the internet. Platforms such as Bandcamp make looking for new artists incredibly easy thanks to the wide reach of the internet. In fact, Bandcamp even has a special search function to make finding new music easier. Bandcamp also lets users filter the searches by area and location. This allows you to scout for local talent from the comfort of your own home.

Figure Out Distribution

Once you’ve found artists and bands, the next thing you have to figure out is your method of distribution. A ZenBusiness guide to starting a record label details how crucial this step is as it’s what will bring your music to your intended listeners. When it comes to distribution, you basically have two choices: physical or digital.

Physical distributions entail shipping out CDs to stores to get your music out there. Now, the obvious downside to this route would be the cost. Creating physical copies of the albums can be quite costly. Digital, on the other hand, involves putting the music on an online streaming platform. This might be the more practical option for record labels that are just starting out, as it’ll be relatively cheaper compared to the physical route. Not to mention that music streaming platforms such as Spotify boasts hundreds of millions of listeners, which gives you a better chance of your music being heard.

Social Media is Key

Marketing is vital to a band and artists’ success. One great way to get exposure nowadays is through the use of social media. It’s a cost-effective way to widen your reach, as the internet connects you with millions of potential listeners from all over the globe.

So how do you go about doing this? Entrepreneur’s beginner’s guide to social media marketing emphasizes the importance of being genuine and relatable. Treating social media the same way you would traditional advertising is a mistake. Release videos of your artists and bands that give audiences a sneak peek into their lives outside of music. This will help build a connection between the artist and the listeners — a connection that will be vital to their success.