You want to start a record label? Great, you have come to the right place! This article is an introduction and overview to how to start a record label.
Note: Labelcaster gives you the tools to start and run a label, but we can’t do everything for you. Passion, hard work and complete dedication is the recipe to becoming successful in this and any other industry. But the reward of working with artists and music is massive.
First of all, it is important that you understand what kind of industry you are getting into. Today there is a great deal of optimism about the future of the music industry, because streaming is not close to reaching its saturation point. On the contrary, we consume more music than ever and music streaming increases roughly 30% on an annual basis. Streaming revenues in 2021 are expected to reach $21 billion and some analysts predict that we will go from 100 million paid streaming subscribers to 1 billion in only five years.
It is possible to earn a living by running a label, but it takes a lot of work and dedication. Too many people confuse the underlying motivation of (economic) life with the blind pursuit of money. People are motivated by more than making money, passion for music and its positive associations for instance. If you are not passionate about the artists and music you promote, you will not be successful.
1. Choose label name and produce creatives
Think of a label name that you’re happy with correlates with the genre(s) you have chosen. Make sure that the name it isn’t taken.
At Labelcaster, your account profile is designed as a press kit, sharable at all times. The profile is your shop window, make sure to put effort into it. The creative process helps you define who you are, what you stand for and which approach you want to take.
2. Find artists and music
The common approach to wanting to start a label is that you have heard or seen an artist that you would like to promote. Either that that or you start looking around on platforms such as Bandcamp, Reddit, Reverbnation, local live venues or just keep it simple and find unsigned artists on the Labelcaster platform.
3. Sign artists
Labelcaster provides contract templates between label and artist(s) which are signed using digital signatures. The contracts are saved in the app, available for both/all parties at all times. There is also the possibility of altering the templates and uploading your own contracts. Make sure that both/all parties review the contracts prior to signing, you don’t want any surprises down the line. In the Labelcaster system you choose the streaming royalty percentage split between label/artist and featured artists. This split is mirrored in the contract and in our system, the streaming royalties earned from likes of Spotify and Apple Music are then automatically paid out according to the contract saved in our system.
4. Music distribution
There is no need to look for distribution partners or aggregators, Labelcaster does the music distribution for you. We distribute your music to all of the major streaming service providers – for free. Most distributors take an upfront payment for distribution, instead Labelcaster takes a 10% fee on the royalties you earn. Meaning; If you and your artists succeed – so do we. Moving on about how to start a record label.
5. Promoting your release
Plan your releases and promotions carefully, take your time to set a proper strategy. We understand that you are eager to get the music out there but trust us, make a long term plan for all of your releases. Keep the momentum up and maintain the fanbase continually. We have packaged a bunch of promotional tools for you in the app to get you going. But once again, success depends on your passion and engagement, use the tools wisely and think of other creative ways to promote your artists.
6. Follow up
Track your progress by monitoring the Labelcaster dashboards. Are you getting the traction you wanted, or could you have done something (or everything!) differently? Chances are, even with the best intentions and carefully made plans, you will have made a mistake with your first release. That’s fine. You’re going to make them with your second, fifth and fifty-fifth.