I have seen the tape come and go, vinyl get pushed out of everyone to only deejays, and the birth and near death of the cd. I have also seen the growth of several independent record labels and fewer and fewer artists becoming signed by record labels.
I have seen artists get signed and blow up and I have seen them go separate and blow up. So which is better: Moving independent or getting signed? Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of becoming signed could be huge. . .if you got the appropriate things in place. Generally for signed, you want a marketable presentation, an 8×10 head shot, a bio, and a good deal of hustle and patience. This is typically not an overnight procedure. Based upon your budget, it might take months to finish your demo package.
You’re going to need somewhere to create your songs and if you do not have your own studio you have to construct one or find one to document. In addition, you need to discover a great photographer for your 8×10 glossys. The final significant step is writing a persuasive bio about your group. This is just the start!
As soon as you’ve got that done, you will need to have the ability to replicate it and tap it to various labels and A&R’s. I recall sending out countless demos. An artist might easily get discouraged at this time. However, if and when you get a Squirrel Poop deal there’s still more work to do. Now you’ve got to really negotiate your own deal, promote your record, and hopefully earn some cash at the end of the day. Its a very simple process but not a simple one.
A fantastic label will offer promotions and marketing bucks for your job (s), supply and reasonable accounting so you can keep up with your earnings, costs, and true gain. You might even get tour support for your record. Sometimes artists get improvements for the costs and they frequently have to be paid back or recouped. These fees have to be paid back to the tag before you as the artist view your profit.
Just how will independent differ from getting signed?
Well, normally as an independent you do not have the major budget that a large tag has but you should definitely have more creative control over your career and company. That is not to say its simple. Its not. Once more, simple but not straightforward. To me the individual route is better for many reasons however:
Easier to build a market following
You can sell your individual label for gain in the future
You can create strong strategic alliances
Different tax advantages, etc..
But and being real, it’s a really rough road.
Know where you are going. The music business is a small business. You need to study businesses in the music industry in addition to other businesses to help make your business better.
Nevertheless, this knowledge will not guarantee success but it can help you get closer to being successful in the future than somebody who does not know.
And a few of the measures for being an independent will be just like the steps for getting a bargain.
Recording 10 to 15 good tunes, pressing them up on a cd or downloadable mp3, and promoting your work are the very same things that will need to be done when buying a deal.
With today’s technology its not tough to do those things. Why don’t you press some up to market and shop for a deal? This is the best way to create income and still search for other opportunities?
And even though you’re handling business, you still need to ensure you’re creating songs. Do not drift away from being creative.
Whether you’re going the independent route or buying a record deal, the best way to success is to research the small business. It has the capacity to bring you many benefits. Much success!