Record Labels 101

Learn about the recording industry before you wade in

Whether you have major label aspirations or want to know how to go about starting your own record label, this 101 guide has you covered. How do musicians start record labels? What are the challenges? What are the pros and cons of major labels versus indie labels? Perhaps most important, how can you raise the necessary money to start a record label of your own?

Get the answers to all these questions and more by clicking on the links. 

Before You Start a Record Label

Man playing vinyl record
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So you're considering starting a record label but you aren't sure if it's the right choice for you. Get help breaking down the arguments for and against the idea and figure out if record label life is for you. Find out what you need to know before you take the plunge. You'll want to consider things like capital, distribution, and promotion. Are you up to those tasks? Can you hire someone to deal with these things if you don't excel at them?

How to Start a Record Label

If you've decided that you want to start a record label—whether you're planning to start one to release your own music or you're going to be hunting for new artists to introduce to the world—this step-by-step guide will teach you how to get your small indie label up and running. Get that first release out there as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Definition: Indie Label

Are you getting a little confused by all this indie label/major label terminology? Find out what makes an indie, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of signing with one. 

Music Industry Funding 101

Yes, starting a label is going to take some money and probably a whole lot of it. If you've determined that this is your goal, now's the time to figure out how you're going to pay for it. Visit Music Industry Funding 101 to learn about your options, such as working with an investor and some cost-saving measures you can take to improve your bottom line in those critical first years. 

Do I Need a Record Label?

Just how relevant are record labels these days anyway? Whether you're a musician weighing your options or you're considering that you want to start a record label yourself, find out how record deals figure for artists in today's music climate.

Major Label Deal Pros and Cons

Every type of label brings something different to the table. Find out the pros and cons of working with a major record label, from the connections you'll gain and the money available to you—the advantages—to realizing that you're just a little fish in a very big pond and how to deal with that. 

Indie Label Deal Pros and Cons

What do indie labels have to offer that major labels don't? Where do the majors win out? Here's some guidance regarding your working relationships with the brass to the possibility of a disorganized company with little to offer in the way of money. 

Record Label Interviews

What better way to find out what running a label is like than to get it straight from the horse's mouth? These record label interviews give you the inside scoop on the industry.