How to Start a Country Music Record Label

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The music industry has started gaining traction again after many years of stagnation. According to statistics, the global music industry revenue was $23.1 billion in 2020. The figure has continued to increase with each passing year. A bigger part of the success is generated by record labels who work tirelessly to nurture, promote, and distribute good music to the world.

Starting an indie music record label is a lucrative venture if you do it right. But, it’s not easy. Like any business, it takes hard work, passion, and patience to see results. Here are some tips you can use to start a thriving country music record label.  

1. Name Your Record Label Right

Carefully choose a record label name that represents the type of music you’ll produce and the audience you want to appeal to. Think of a unique name that isn’t in use. There are many name generators and company name databases you can use to find a name for your record label.

Once you settle on a suitable name, register it so that you have a legal business. Business names and frameworks are dependent on the state and city. Read the laws and find out how they apply in your area before making your record label a legal entity.  

2. Find Your Music

Identifying the music to produce is a crucial step when starting a record label. First, choose a music genre you understand well. There are so many artists looking to record music, but you can’t work with them all. The music you produce will determine who you work with.

Know the specific characteristics you want in an artist. It’s a lot easier to focus on a small group that loves your style of music. Check out artists in your area and identify a few promising talents you’d like to sign. You can find unsigned acts to work with on sites like MySpace.     

3. Create Contracts and Artist Deals

Once you settle on the type of music to produce and the acts you’d like to sign, talk about the contract terms and artists’ deals. Write down the agreements between you and the artists. You may not need to involve lawyers as long as the terms of the contract are fair and binding. Ensure that the agreement is printed and signed by all parties.

When creating a legally binding document, include:

  • The contract duration
  • Whether the deal is for a single album or several
  • How you intend to divide music earnings
  • Who pays the promotional costs?
  • How many free copies does the artist get?
  1. Figure Out Promotion and Distribution

Some artists want to know if you have a reliable distribution channel before signing with your record label. Others may be willing to sign without looking into distribution details. All they care about is making good music and hoping it gets to the right audience. Whichever the case, you need a strategy to promote and distribute the music you produce.

Music promotion and distribution will cost you money, but your efforts will pay off. Carzing, an online channel for used car dealerships that offer auto financing, became popular through digital ads. Use digital distribution channels, online media, clubs, and even college radio channels to advertise. These are cheap options if you can’t afford a PR firm or mainstream media.

Starting and running a music label is a process that requires commitment and hard work. Things will sometimes not work as you expect even at times when you feel you’re doing everything right. Like any business, you’ll make mistakes along the way. Learn from them and do not let disappointments derail your desire to succeed. Successful world record labels took time to build.

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