How does music distribution work and what are the trends in 2021?

What it’s like being an indie label.

If you are expecting lavish lunches and pin-striped suits, you are reading the wrong article. However, If you have an ear for sound, the passion to support creatives, and the social skills of a used car dealer, then read on.
Here, you will get an overview of what it takes to run a successful indie label. Pinpointing the different areas you need to be covering to stand-up against all the departments the major labels have at their disposal. We are tipping the scale in your favour.

– A&R (artist and repertoire)
– Public Relations
– Marketing
– Art
– Legal
– Finance

Running an independent Label is not like the life of a major label. The big 3 major labels have a tight grip on the music industry and the need to satisfy their stakeholders in the boardrooms pushes them to deliver on financial targets. No wonder they have a department for everything in their big fancy offices.

Indie Labels have the ambition to contribute diverse sound, globally. When working, they wear all the hats and do what needs to be done to support your artists. The ambition and drive to do it all, that’s what inspires LabelCaster to back them up.

If this sounds like a broken record and you’re ready to get going, take the opportunity to start your Indie Label.

Still considering, or want to know more, well…

The major labels have A&R departments looking after their artists. Yes, we know. A whole department, madness! With that many artists under one roof, you have to fall in-line to get yourself heard. When things take off and there’s an opportunity, these major labels call on their colleagues in the Artist Development department for assistance. Maybe get the Promotions department in, handy.

The life of an indie label plays to a slightly different tune. When the big labels call on their many different departments to work their magic. This ‘magic’ comes in the form of a familiar, almost to the point of repetitive sounds steering the music industry whichever way they like.

Indie labels are like speed boats, they inject excitement into the music industry. Indie labels do it for the music, and they shine a light on artists who do it for the same reasons. These passionate players have had little impact on the industry, until now. Look at the number of artists from independent labels that appear in the top 10 today – 44%. There are ripples in the water.

We see the work of the independent labels. Their contribution to the music industry means healthy competition for the major labels, keeping them on their toes. These independent players are the cause of a diverse music landscape. This means more inspirational sounds from around the world.

However, running an independent label with a passion to share the new sound you have discovered is not all smiles and rainbows.

Most indie labels suffer from complex logistical, legal, technical, and financial issues. Some labels have a hired-gun, someone to ease the pain of administrative work. At the end-of-the-day, all indie labels do what they do for the creative expression and the drive to contribute unique quality sound to the global music industry.

The indie labels have many moving parts to play with. Getting artists in, agreements, contracts, royalty payments, PR, marketing, and finance. Their success is a direct result of the belief and support they have for their talented artists. Not to mention, managing discussions with aggregators to confirm the distribution on all the right platforms just to wait for pennies-on-the-dollar.

These game-changing labels have to spare some of that creative juice for investigating alternative revenue streams. How much time have you got to focus on your strategy, have you had a chance to step back and check-the-mic?

The line-up for an Indie Label at LabelCaster. As mentioned, there are a number of responsibilities that need to be attended to before sitting back and enjoying the show. If you are like Argle Bargle then you’ll know that time spent on making connections and networking is crucial. Trying to juggle anything between 1 to 5 artists is a major challenge.

You have to get them in the right place at the right time but does it come down to luck?

“Luck, when opportunity meets preparation.”

The best way to seize opportunities is to automate everything that can be automated and in turn, free-up processing power for your preparations. Spending time on the right things to make decisions with the most accurate information.

LabelCaster has come in to address these points and to empower the independent labels. Supporting you to carry the torch of liberating the music industry from the clutches of the major labels. Utilising the tools and tech available today we are automating the legal and financial aspects, now is the time for your partners in the administrative team to start helping with your business strategy. Gone are the days of daily distractions of searching for copies of signed agreements, now is the time to get it all together.

Getting the right information for your next move is essential. The information that comes in like a slow drip from a leaky bucket is not sufficient if you are considering a new region for your artists and potential redirection. Your numbers need to be in constant focus. That’s where our dashboards, streaming live data, assist your major decisions. Then taking that step, breaking from the local scene into the international market, can make or break an indie label. Growing with LabelCaster is growing internationally.

As we are passionate about the preservation of diverse music, LabelCasters business model is built in a way that encourages growth: as you grow we sit further back. Providing the stage for you to stand on when squaring up to the major labels.

For more information on how to get access to these tools, apply to become a beta tester. Because independent labels work hard on all aspects of the business to support their artists. Taking risks for the reward of a diverse music industry.

Without indie labels, we face a world of repetitive sound. A market that rewards conformity, manipulating the passive listeners to feed what “they” think should be popular.