In our last post we told you all about royalties and took a look at the key collection agencies. This week we’ve decided to give you a look into the world of the record label, and what they expect from artists. So, firstly, what types of record labels are there, and what’s the difference?
As you should know there are two types of record label – the major and the indie. In today’s music industry the four major record companies that dominate the business are Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI – all of which are made up of many smaller labels and companies for different markets and regions. The other labels are all indies – independent labels that are much smaller than the majors, with a much smaller budget to match.
The obvious difference of income and budget affects how much a label can do for an artist, but there are also other factors that separate the type of label -
- Advance – With a major the amount of advance an artists receives will be bigger; with an indie, you may not get an advance at all.
- Royalties – however, with an indie, you will get a much greater percent of your royalties back.
- Promotion, contacts and influence – Because of the size and the larger budget, majors have more to spend on things like promotion and marketing for an artist. They also have a lot of contacts, and a lot of influence in the business, which will make the process easier and quicker. BUT, majors also have a lot of artists on their books, so the amount of dedicated attention they spend on you won’t be as much as an indie could offer.
- Masters – Major record labels own the master copy of your recordings, whereas with an indie you usually get to keep ownership.
- Creative control – There is a danger when being signed to a major label that a band or artist will lose creative control in the interest of business. With an independent label, you get given a bit more respect for your vision, and get to keep control. (more…)