Not all labels are created equal. They come in all different sizes and shapes. Major Labels. In addition to those major labels you have independent labels. Labels have different approaches to signing talent. No matter whether you are a major label, an indie, or some kid in a dorm room you’ll need 4 key elements to succeed in the record business.
- The first thing you need to know about labels is this: not all labels are created equal. They come in all different sizes and shapes. At the top level, there are the big three major labels, Universal, Warner's, and Sony, that have huge rosters, huge staff, huge resources, and offices around the world to help them distribute and market their music. In addition to those major labels, you have what are known as independent labels. Unlike those major labels, they're typically owned and run by the founders of the company.
In many cases, these independent labels have relationships with the major companies for certain services like marketing, radio promotion, or distribution. In some cases, they're true standalone operations. Labels have different approaches to signing talent. Some sign talent across all genres. Some focus on a particular genre like punk rock, or hip hop, or jazz, or country, or heavy metal. The majors typically sign in every genre. Then there are the little mom and pop labels out there that are fueled more by passion than real resources and really aren't much of a factor in the real music business.
No matter whether you're a major label, an indie label, or some kid in a dorm room that started a label, you're going to need four key elements to be successful in the record business. You'll need experience, you'll need expertise, you'll need infrastructure, and finally, you're going to need lots of money to be successful. Without that, you don't have a chance.
In this installment of An Insider's Guide to Today's Music Biz, Steve Rennie explores the role of record labels in the music business. He starts by talking about the different types of record labels and what they do, from marketing to manufacturing and radio promotion. Then you'll learn about why you need a record label, how to get a record deal, what a music contract will look like, and how the signing process works. As a little bonus, Steve gives you some insights on your commitments and compensation (advances and royalties) once you get signed.
- Understanding how record labels run
- Finding a record label
- Meeting with A&R and business teams at a record label
- How record labels promote your music
- Negotiating a record deal
- How record labels recoup costs