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15 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Launching a Record Label

So you’re thinking of starting a record label? Do you think you have what it takes to launch careers and sell music? Before starting your record label, these questions will help you get focused on your plans:

1) What types of services do you want to offer your artists? Recording and mastering? Booking gigs? Marketing and promotion? Distribution?
2) What is your method for finding artists, and what standards are you going to use to filter out the artists worth signing?
3) What genre of music do you want to focus on?
4) What previous experience do you have working with artists and helping them develop their careers?
5) What will be the process for signing artists with your label?
6) How will you be marketing and promoting the music?
7) What are your plans for distributing the music your artists produce? Will it be available in record stores? At the gigs? Digitally?
8) Which people in the music business should you develop a relationship with to help your label?
9) Do you have a budget set aside for marketing and promoting your artists?
10) Where are some unique methods to distribute your artists music?
11) What do you think your artists career will look like after signing with your label?
12) Do you have any unique promotional ideas for your artists?
13) Do you know how to build an audience on social media for your label and its artists?
14) What kind of marketing materials will I use to promote my artists?
15) What am I offering to artists that they cannot otherwise do themselves?

Keep an eye out for artists who already have a growing fanbase. Look for artists who are already selling records themselves, have a large social media following, and who sell out their local gigs. Get out there and listen to live music with a critical ear. Watch the audience and see how they react to the band. If they are up on their feet, and swooning over the band, you might be on to something!

Once you identify an artist, you will need to bring something to the table which shows that you can take their career to the next level. What can you offer them that they can’t do themselves? Some labels act as an artist management company, signing and representing artists, helping them develop their careers, and promoting their work. Others provide music production services, creating and producing quality recordings. A full service label will do all of the above.

Finally, invest some money to get your tracks mastered professionally. You’re going to be selling this music, so it’s important to present the tracks in their highest quality format.


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