Aside from money, this is undoubtedly one of the biggest hang-ups about indie record labels. It may also mean that, at least to begin with, your music will be released with a limited distribution. Change ), In general, independent labels are those labels that aren’t one of the, Indies definitely pay more attention to the artists on their books than the larger labels. Some common examples of custom contracts include: doing away with the dreaded key person clause (this is bad for artists), exploring shared ownership rights, or even a 50/50 profit share between label and artist. Just click the link to get a free copy of the following contracts that every artist needs: Work for Hire Agreement, Songwriting Splits Sheet, and Cue Sheet (for Sync Placements). When you are signed to an indie label, in almost every instance it's because the label is a huge fan of your music; that translates into dedication because they believe in what you're doing. The common perception of a "record label" is one of the major record labels, located in Los Angeles or New York, which signs all of the major players. With independent record labels, the ethos is much different. Labels with too few bands signed up to them may struggle to find you acts to support or to get you into the best venues. They usually also know the studios, rehearsal rooms, engineers and producers that suit a lower budget, without compromising the quality of the finished records. This can lead to the same battle for attention as many acts experience at the larger labels. ( Log Out / Larger record labels sometimes sign acts just to stop their rivals from doing so, or as a future project. They usually don't have the coffers to fund an all-out media blitz like the major labels, and they often have to get creative with promotion ideas. This allows them to fully fund the biggest artists out there. Indies definitely pay more attention to the artists on their books than the larger labels. While major labels are global and operate their own publishing and distribution companies, indie labels work with other smaller companies, either in long-term partnerships or in smaller contractual relationships for their distribution and publishing needs. Not every indie label is disorganized, but the informal nature of operations at many smaller indie labels means some elements can get a tad bit confusing. Keep in mind, while larger record labels have money to throw around, they also excel in taking as much money as possible from YOU to pay back their expenses. When it comes to choosing the right music label for your career, it can be comparable to choosing a business partner. While it’s ultimately up to you where you want your musical path to go, we have the tools to help you get there. Without the pressure to turn a profit and produce on a strict schedule, or under strict guidelines, it can feel more freeing to work under an indie music label. However, the major music industry is on life-support with the introduction of online social networks and digital music retail stores such as iTunes, Rhapsody, and Amazon—and the fact that major releases are often leaked to the internet weeks before their release day. Any music recording label that operates without the funding of the organizations of the major music labels is considered an indie label. They also can't afford big advances, fancy packaging, large recording budgets, tour support, and other perks a major label has the funds to offer you. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. While an indie record label would definitely have their finger on the pulse of trends and access to the grassroots market, a big record label has more pull and weight for getting your name out there as fast as possible. Many small labels also may not be able to afford big tours, venues, merchandise, or fancy recording packages. However, like all big decisions in life, there are pros and cons to indie labels that you should consider before taking the plunge. Many musicians signed to large labels find themselves in a battle for the attention of the execs, and end up feeling like ‘just another act’. So the person that loved your music, and signed you up, is likely to be there to support you throughout. Not all artists have to stay with their label year after year, and it’s not unusual for artists to move on to bigger labels if they need the resources. Inside the Indie Vault, you'll have complete & unlimited access to Essential Music Industry Contracts, and our music industry resources such as the Spotify Playlist Gameplan & our Music Royalty Collection Guide. They usually only have a few acts on their books, and if they’ve chosen you as one of them, it’s because they believe in you and in your chances of success.
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