Running a Record Label


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Running a Record Label

  2. 2.  Business Plan: As you start your record label, you are going to need to determine what genres of music you want to deal in, how much startup money you will need and how many employees you will need to hire. These details, plus any other information pertinent to starting your record label, will be found in your business plan. Your business plan becomes the road map you use to create your business, and the blueprint you follow to build your record label into what you want it to be .  Organizations: Your record label will need to purchase the rights to distribute the music you will be releasing.  Recording Studio: As you start your record label, you can choose to accept finished products from artists that you would distribute. However, as your label grows you will want to develop relationships with recording studios. A record label can control costs and help dictate content when it is the one paying for the recording studio time .  Radio/Online/Press Contacts: You will need to get your artists heard on the radio, and the way to do that is to start introducing yourself to radio program directors in the major markets all over the country.  Distribution: To get your records sold outside your immediate area you will need to speak to record distribution companies. RUNNING A RECORD LABEL
  3. 3.  Education: Knowledge of contracts, publishing, copyrights, royalties, marketing, promotion, advertising, general business operations, accounting and more are necessary to navigate the complexities of the entertainment business.  Business Plan: Create a formal business plan for your record label. The plan will include the type of music you will specialize in, how you will record the music, how it will be manufactured into physical or digital product, marketing and advertising strategies, sales outlets, distribution plans. Many small labels partner with independent recording studios, engineers, producers, manufacturers, designers and distributors to keep costs down so the label can concentrate on artist and product development, marketing and sales .  Contracts: Contact an entertainment lawyer to draft contracts for you, or you may purchase stock contracts from music business suppliers. You will need to become familiar with numerous contracts and deal types, so consulting an attorney even when using stock forms for a project is recommended. Some of the more common contracts will be used between the label and artist, label and studio, label and publisher, label and producer. The contracts between the label, artist and publisher are perhaps the most complex, as they will contain detailed and complicated financial agreements regarding upfront payments and royalties .  Capital: Whether you plan to press CDs or produce music for mp3 download, you will still need lots of money for studio time, engineers and possibly backup musicians. Promotion can also be costly when it comes to sending packages to record stations and media outlets.  Distribution Deal: Distribution is the method you use to get the music in the hands of fans. Before downloads, bands could carry a truckload of CDs in their tour vans. In the Internet age labels must follow through with creating promotion packages to get music adequately processed through online distributors, as well as the few surviving real world distributors. This package should include press clippings, radio playlists, press/radio campaign plans and tour dates .  Promotion Team: The recordings you produce have to be promoted, or you will remain a basement musician. Because you can only do so much on your own, it's important to recruit a team to help. Social networks make it easier to build a loyal fan base that can create word -of-mouth buzz. Look into recruiting music enthusiasts to form a street team who may not have the talent to produce music, but have the passion that will shine through to promote it . STARTING A LABEL
  4. 4.  Choose a Label name. How does it relate to your ‘brand’  Build your brand. Logo’s, poster art, merch, web etc…all professional  Create an online presence. Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Website etc  Build your fanbase. Social media, via mail, at shows, approach hardcore fans get them to work with you for the band.  Focus on the music. Has to be quality and people have to like it  Set up promos and mailing lists. Network and email!  Get your digital distribution in place. Online stores 15-30%  Keep an eye on the admin. Multitask from Dropbox to Letter Box  Handle the launch. Put on a show to release the music on the label.  Plan for the future. What ideas do you have to continue to build? RUNNING A DIGITAL LABEL
  5. 5. 360 deals (Multiple Rights Deals) are contracts that allow a record label to receive a percentage of the earnings from ALL of a band's activities instead of just record sales. Under 360 deals, also called "multiple rights deals," record labels may get a percentage of things that were previously off limits to them, like:  Concert revenue  Merchandise sales  Endorsement deals  Ringtones  In exchange for getting a bigger cut from the artists they represent, the labels say they will commit to promoting the artist for a longer period of time and will actively try and develop new opportunities for them.  360 deals are controversial for a lot of reasons. First of all, they're often seen a cynical money grab by labels that are facing dwindling sales and high overhead. The charge is that labels have survived a long time without these kinds of deals, so it would seem that they're suffering from a failure to manage their businesses and react appropriately to the changing industry - asking the bands to foot the bill hardly seems fair. Other people object to the whole "band branding" notion that makes 360 deals so potentially profitable for labels.  Labels counter that these deals let them sign different kinds of artists because they don't have to be so focused on recouping their investment from album sales. They can stop chasing the instant number one and work with artist in the long haul because they don't need to rely on big sales figures alone to make signing the artist profitable .  Controversial or not, 360 deals are becoming increasingly common in major label contracts. 360 DEALS
  7. 7.  A&R(Artists and Repertoire): Discovers new talent  Art Department: All things graphic/design with the band  Artist Development: Planning the career of the artist  Business Affairs: Bookkeeping, finances, payroll  Label Liaison: The label’s people the band talks to  Legal Department: Everything to keep the contracts sorted, insurance organised  Marketing Department: Marketing plans for the band’s direction.  Promotion, sales, publicity.  New Media: Social media, Online aspects  Publicity: Getting the word out  Sales: Retail aspects RECORD LABEL ORGANISATION
  8. 8. 1. Make sure your music is amazing. Play it in your car and let your friends be the judge. Ask them if they think this band is great without letting them know it's yours . 2. Visit the website. Most labels have a website, you can easily hit contact or FAQ link and it will show you where you can send your demo to. When sending a demo, make sure to include a press kit, which includes photos, bio, and some media press . 3. Don't be let down if the label doesn't contact you back . An A&R rep gets thousands of demos every week. It gets difficult to listen to all them, so it'll take a little bit of time . 4. Make sure you send your demo to multiple labels including indie labels . Sometimes it's better to go with an independent label; most of the time they're being supported by the major label. Chances are both ways you'll get noticed . 5. Think about it. Why do you like your favorite artist....exactly you need to convince people that you're just that good. 6. Practice. Practice makes perfect, the music industry is a race. But if your music doesn't have any quality they won't listen to it a second time. Try not to burn any bridges, make your music perfect before sending it out! HOW TO CONTACT A RECORD LABEL
  9. 9.  Business Plan  Capital  Distribution Deal  Promotion Team  Talent WHAT DO YOU NEED TO START YOUR OWN RECORD LABEL
  10. 10. Identify what Brisbane music record labels exist by answering the following: 1. How many labels do you estimate there are in Brisbane/QLD? 2. Choose one and identify the following: - Name of label? - Artists on roster. Give a cross section? - Style/genre/theme? - Anything they do to stand out from the pack? - Digital, Vinyl or CD? Or all and more? - Independent or major player? - Put this information into a one page document with images and professionally packed. TASK 1: BRISBANE RECORD LABELS
  11. 11.  How will we stand out from the pack?  What creativity can we bring to the table?  Who is our audience?  What do we know about people and their music habits these days?  How will we brand this label/compilation?  What do other labels from around the world do? Research this!  Put this information into a one page document with images and professionally packed. TASK 2: RECORD LABEL IDEAS
  12. 12. Research a record label and collect the following information:  Name of record label  Number of artists on roster  Location of label in the world  Do they do anything that sets them apart from other labels?  What success have they had as a label? TASK 3: WHAT DO OTHER LABELS DO?
  13. 13. Ma j o r l a b e l s 1 9 8 8 – 1 9 9 8 ( B i g S i x )  Warner Music Group  EMI  Sony Music (known as CBS Records until January 1991 then known as Sony Music thereafter )  BMG Music  Universa l Music Group  Polygram Ma j o r l a b e l s 1 9 9 8 – 2 0 0 4 ( B i g F i v e )  Warner Music Group  EMI  Sony Music  BMG Music  Universa l Music Group (Polygra m absorbed into UMG ) Ma j o r l a b e l s 2 0 0 4 – 2 0 0 8 ( B i g F o u r )  Universa l Music Group  Sony BMG (Sony and BMG joint - ven tu re)  Warner Music Group  EMI Ma j o r l a b e l s 2 0 0 8 – 2 0 1 2 ( B i g F o u r )  Universa l Music Group  Sony Music Enterta in m en t (BMG absorbed into Sony)  Warner Music Group  EMI Ma j o r l a b e l s s i n c e 2 0 1 2 ( B i g T h r e e )  Universa l Music Group (EMI recorded music divis ion absorbed into UMG)  Sony Music Enterta in m en t (EMI Music Publish in g absorbed into Sony/ATV Music Publish in g)  Warner Music Group MAJOR LABELS TO INDEPENDENTS WHY THE SHIFT?
  14. 14.  Read: rewind-bpi-touts-4g-tablets-and-connected-cars-as-the-future-for- british-music-industry/  How have people’s habits to listening/buying music changed over the years?  Research some ways in which music is changing around the world. How can we use this information to our advantage?  What are some ways that music has changed in just the last 10 years?  Using the mind map let’s jot down some ways music is going to continue to be revolutionised over the next decade. TASK 4: MUSIC HABITS 1900’S TO 2013
  15. 15.  Name  Theme/Brand/Style/Niche….what is it going to be that stands out from every other label?  Genres: What style of music  Format: What formats for the release of music will you have?  Demographics  Business Structure (sole trader, partnership, limited company)  Budget  Business Plan  Legal Issues  Logo, Font, Style of record label  Business Details (Website, Email, Social Media, Physical Address)  Sales: Distribution/Exporting/Online  Collections/Royalties TASK 5: YOUR RECORD LABEL