Step 1: Discover your music
You could be someone who prefers a certain genre of music. Or maybe you, like us, have a mission to support artists and labels –big or small – to grow in local and worldwide markets. If we like an artist’s music and feel we have ability to support the artist with our knowledge, expertise and network, we think no more.
Whatever be your motivation, it is important that you ONLY release music that resonates with you. It is perfectly okay to have just 1 or 2 music releases planned. The important thing is to focus on quality.
Step 2: Think of a name for your label
Ignore advice on looking at the names of your competitors or coming up with an inspirational name. Keep it simple and don’t break your head over it. Our name – OGRECORDS – is simply taken from the initials of our Executive Partner. In the end, the quality of your music and not the name will speak volumes about your label.
Step 3: Check the name’s availability
As the number of record labels keep growing, it might not always be possible to finalise on the first choice of name for your label. So, you will have to come up with a few alternatives and search Google and other databases to ensure that your choice of name has not been taken.
Step 4: Design the look and feel of your label
The logo and design of your website will contribute to the brand image of your label. While quality music is the most important factor in a label’s success, nevertheless, brand image is a tool that will take your music miles ahead.
Accordingly, spend time creating an eye-catching logo. Hire professionals or freelancers to design a website that adds to your audience’s experience. For instance, our website is focussed on creating a simple, calming and yet visually appealing experience for our customers.
Step 5: Decide on a business structure
Regardless of popular advice, your primary focus should be on producing quality music. We recommend not getting into the hassle of coming up with a business structure at the very beginning. Once you make tangible progress with your venture you can consider setting up your label as a legal business.
Step 6: Set up Recording Contracts with Artists
Once you discover music that you love you will have to sign contracts with artists. With so many music labels out there, you need to think about offering a deal that is a win-win situation for the artist and for you.
Be flexible and offer a little extra. For example, we are absolutely transparent in all our dealings; we treat every artist with outmost respect and offer the same set of services to inspire their fans.
Step 7: Distribution
You have the option to ship physical copies to stores but a more feasible option for beginners is targeting online stores. Sign up and make your music available on online stores like Spotify, SoundCloud, Discogs or Apple Music. At a later stage, you could even develop an in-house technology like we did to deliver all music content and formats to your network of platforms and streaming service providers.
Step 8: Promote your music till you are sore
Just kidding! But you do need to be aware that the competition is fierce and unless you aggressively promote your work it might be lost and forgotten. So, hop on to social media channels like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and aim to create a community that truly enjoys your music. As you grow, you will be able to develop an instinct for tailoring sales and marketing solutions for independent labels and artists worldwide.
Step 9: Be aware of sources of Royalty
Receiving payment from music distributors is just one way of earning from your music. You are also entitled to receive royalties from public performances, sound exchanges and much more. If you feel unsure, a great way to start would be to sign up with ‘PRS for music’. They will do all the groundwork for you and ensure that you are paid royalties for the use of your work. Eventually, as you grow, you could expand and set up an in-house team that manages royalties for the label.
That’s it guys. You now have a bird’s eye view of what it takes to set up a music label. Trust us and forget about scarcity of funds, competition and simply focus on your work. Concentrate on one step at a time and you will get there. And we are here for you. Watch out this place as we are going to go into the details of each step just for you!
- Photo – cottonbro from Pexels