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My Record Label - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by Voiceofallanger, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Hi guys,

    I'm a regular poster in the songwriting/mix section of recording.org but today I come with a different question!

    I have a lot of experience in many areas of music and I've decided due to the state of the scene in my area I am going to start a digital distribution label. It's saturated by dishonesty and it's a real struggle to get anywhere with anything musical. I have made it my mission to correct that problem and use my band Furian as a driving force. I was wondering if any old hands or just generally experienced label reps had any constructive input for my new website. By that I mean how it comes across and if you see any immediate flaws. I don't mind asking for help when I know damn well others know better in many areas.


    Thank you so much.

    - Dan
  2. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Looks nice - not really my style of music, but can I ask how you make money? Frankly I don't use soundcloud unless forums use it to let you hear material, but with the full track sitting there, how do you stop people stealing it? My music is wildy different, and very much special interest, but the buyers are dance teachers and students, who are computer savvy, so rip music off left right and centre. We use shorter samples on our site and they can download the full tracks if they like the sample = modest money, but all ours, bar the paypal charge. We have a steady and modest stream of individual tracks being downloaded, but loads just download the entire CD as a zip file. Our music is very niche - being specialised ballet music, so yours seems pretty much more likeable?

    You can see how our system works here http://granthorsley.com/cds.html
  3. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Thank you for such an interesting reply Paul. Soundcloud is compressed to death so it's not worth stealing really and we only use old singles on there as opposed to current ones from our Catalogue. About to check out your system. Thanks a lot for replying. As for making money, very much playing the long game. Too many people looking for a quick buck in my opinion. If I can build an honest and successful community I can build it from there and profit from there but I don't want to charge for anything I can't deliver on. I'll start taking bigger cuts when I deserve bigger cuts.
  4. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Ha! I spent some time in a school last week - one subject was copyright. All bar one of the kids got all their music free, and quality wasn't an issue at all. Not one viewed it as stealing, it was just everyday activity for a 15 year old! I bet if they like your music, they'll pinch it! Nobody young will pinch mine, I suspect. Yours is far more attractive to the younger, less morally aware ones!
  5. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    All I can tell you is this, it's all fun and games until somebody starts making ANY money. So make sure you have your legal ducks in a row before you 'sign' any other bands to join you in this business endeavor. Nobody enjoys paying lawyers, but paying a lawyer a little bit now can save you a potential legal nightmare later.

    Monetizing music in this day and age is extremely difficult, should find a way to turn a profit on this, make sure everything is clearly spelled out in advance regarding what operating expenses you will need to take off the top, and how every bit of the profits are to be divided. (This goes for you and your own bandmates as well). Not everyone realizes what all has to happen behind the scenes to get them to where they are. Money (and the pursuit of it) can make otherwise rational people behave like selfish idiots. Mix that with something as subjective as art (of any kind), and the pride and egos of any number of creative human beings - and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Best of luck.
    pcrecord and audiokid like this.
  6. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    We've discounted iTunes - seems impossible to make any money at all!
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    This falls into the same category as:
    • investing in a large format analog console,
    • building a full size commercial studio to make money,
    • invest in VOVOX cable
    • Go to Full Sail
    • People care about sound quality
    And so on.. Don't be so stupid (and I mean that lovingly) . Its way too early in this industry to think you are ever going to make a difference and change the direction already in planning. Music is going online. We are going to be connected to collaboration networks like the Gaming Culture. We are going to be leasing and using apps that are part of the DAW networks.

    Online is where we are going. Once ITB stay ITB and just keep making music. If you are good enough to take your acts on the road, thats where it can make money. The rest is all about, collaboration, playing games and uploading/downloading in a cloud you are subscribed into.

    Its way over your head and pocket book.

    That being said

    dvdhawk has my vote followed by I admire the dream but it isn't a road i would go on.
    JohnTodd likes this.
  8. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Thank you for your input guys. Much appreciated and believe me caution has been taken. I've had a lawyer and an accountant in place from day one as I've been signed to labels before and have identified a bunch of flaws. My aim isn't really to directly make money with this. That might sound ridiculous but I am very much looking to start small in my area to change the attitudes and then start putting on live showcases in bigger and better venues to make money. I already have two reliable booking agents and I also run a studio of my own. I'm hoping all that backing will give me and other bands something to work with here. Liverpool (where I live) used to be a centre for music but as DVDhawk says with greed being very much prevalent it's dying, and quickly. Everyone wants quick money and that's not the way to build a music scene. It has to be done in blocks like any other smart business plan. I know I am taking on a mammoth task here but I think every positive movement no matter how big or small has to start somewhere. I know that I am just a one person in a big world and currently unimportant but I'll give it my best and see what happens. Thank you very much for replying I've taken it all into account! :) PS. I will only be signing quality acts. Seriously good ones. That is definite.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Food for thought:
    To me, this sounds more like you are becoming a sub agent, to "manager/ management" for a group of acts +/- "sign" groom/ record/produce/mix/master while providing a service for venues.

    What control or ability do you have in the big picture? What does any label do for an artist today?
    Your label defines a certain roster of groups (artists) who trust you will make dreams come true. Labels are nothing without venues or alliances with stores, radio stations etc.

    This sounds more like you are falling into the roll of a studio/ Booking Agent. Your target is really getting the venues on your side then.
    When agents have the exclusive to the venue, they have control to make change. Otherwise, you are just another "web"page with no where to go.

    Venue is no different than itunes, store etc. And so it goes... Same idea just a different front to a way to present or manage content.
  10. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    I have plenty of contacts and affiliations Sir :) I know a lot of very important people!
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Wow, then I'd say you just need the talent (bands) and that touch that makes the difference. Your musical examples have impressed us all here. I wish you much success and hope you keep us all informed. If there is anything I/we can do for you here, don't hesitate.
  12. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    The trouble is that quality acts are now even more cautious about who they sign with. A lot of my work goes into supporting productions on tour, and the costs of performing live are huge. The unsigned bands who are playing the low/no paid circuit often have no concept of the huge hike in funding needed for bigger exposure activity. Most bands have no funds, so the record company fund this and then expect it back with extra if/when it works. This model doesn;t work for the small enterprises who can only offer downloading as their service. I'm involved with a project this weekend that is going to seriously cost me to take part. We don't really want to do it, but the cause is good, and the organisers well intentioned. I have no other paid job, this is what I do to eat and live, and it's taking me three days work to get ready for 60 minutes 'work' that will do us no good whatsoever, so it's a freebie. It will waste our time, and we won't get any pleasure from it at all.

    I love audiokids list of ideas. It really is a business - and it can't be a hobby because generally they are fun.
  13. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Yeah for sure. That's the whole issue I aim to correct at least locally. I know that in the big picture I'm nobody but UK music really is in a DIRE state right now but I do have one thing on my side. It is a lot smaller than say.. the USA and therefore it's easier to get to know the whole network of people. People are just so selfish and counter productive. The way to sustain great business in my eyes is to be fair and to give people what they want and what WORKS and what benefits not just you but EVERYBODY. That currently isn't happening so I'll test my theory and work my ass off and see how it goes. If I get somewhere with it who knows ? Maybe you guys can join the party someday! But for now it's just a plan that may succeed or may fail. But I'll try my damned hardest to make it work!
  14. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Good luck, Dan - I hope it works out for you!
  15. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Thanks Boswell, much appreciated mate :) I'll quiz you guys on all sorts in the future no doubt!
  16. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I applaud you for trying to turn things around in your hometown. I hope you did't think I was dumping on your idea. My comments are directly from my own experience in somewhat similar circumstances. It's never been easy, and it seems like it's only getting more difficult to gain traction. You have demonstrated that you have a knack for recording and producing quality tracks, you may well have the golden touch on the business side too. I'm hoping you create a model that you can use to make a real difference. I'm glad you seem to be going in to this with your eyes wide open.

    I sincerely wish you the best.
    audiokid likes this.
  17. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I find fault with the theory that some people may have, that states that just because a particular market or industry is failing, you shouldn't try your own hand at it.
    (I'm not saying anyone here has that theory, I'm referring to the hundreds of naysayers I've encountered throughout my own life).

    If you look hard enough, you will always be able to find plenty of reasons as to why you shouldn't do something.
    It's those people who recognize the existing problems and challenges, and make the decision to proceed anyway, then turn those reasons around to become reasons why they should, that turn out to be the most successful.

    If you have the intelligence and creativity, the ability to think outside the box (the same box that has caused other similar business to fail), the dedication and perseverance to get it done, and a rock solid goal that you can aim for, ( or a series of goals, one at a time) then there's no reason why you shouldn't do so.

    These goals can start out on paper, but at some point you have to actually start doing the things necessary to achieve them. Many businesses fail because the model that has been planned never leaves the paper on which the plan and goals are written.

    There's nothing more sad than untapped talent and unrealized dreams. Don't push your instincts aside. If you have the talent to do this, and the dedication to stick with it when things get tough - and trust me, they will - then there's no reason why you shouldn't do what you have in mind.

    IMO of course.

  18. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    ^ My kind of attitude Donny. And don't worry DVDHawk, I appreciate you replying no matter what you have to say. I'll have to consider a lot of different things from a lot of different opinions in the future. I have taken everything that's been said into account in the hope I can use it to my own caution and also in some cases to my own strength. Here goes nothing!

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