Home studio and indie label?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by therecordingart, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    As everyone knows it is hard to make a living running a home studio....does anyone know anything about running an indie label? Do you think a small home studio in conjunction with a small indie could turn over a decent living?
  2. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    Jun 5, 2004
    Charlotte, NC, USA
    Home Page:
    well probably not, you have to understand that with owning a studio you have to produce commercial results, if you can do that then its a great idea seeing that you save money on recording fees, if you do not produce COMMERCIAL RESULTS then don't bother. Also a label takes years to really generate profit. You have to find a willing band and you have to market them to the point where people are willing to pay money to see them and hear their COMMERCIALLY GOOD SOUNDING CD. So there you go, thats the rules to label owning. 50 percent of labels fail, if not more, so if you have artists that are really good, then go for it, otherwise, do something else.
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    I had a good friend who owned a record label for a number of years. He was also a professor at a local college. He used his salary from the professorship to fund the record company. He recently died of cancer and I was helping his wife with some computer problems after the funeral. She told me that in all the time he owned the record company he never made a profit and was always having to supplement the record company with money from his teaching job.His label put out something like 15 albums and they all recieved a lot of favorable press but no financial success and his widow still has boxes and boxes of his CDs laying around in their barn. Unless you are ready willing and able to fund this project for YEARS (until you start to make a profit) I would think this NOT a good way to go.

    My friend was heavily into merchandising and used the internet in new and very inovative ways but he still had problems with the bricks and motar distribution and that was something he could do nothing about since he did not have the resources to get his product into stores thoughout the US. Just before his untimely death he was working on a plan with a major retailer but the cost involved for legal fees was about to bankrupt him.

    Best of luck and I hope you find a way to do what you want to do.
  4. Bodhi

    Bodhi Active Member

    Jun 11, 2004
    Home Page:
    To make it successful you'd have to pour everything you've got into it, unless you have a whole lot to start with. Legal fees, Promotion costs, Recording-Mastering-Pressing costs, like said before you've got to put out commercial quality recordings. If you could tie it all together in-house, you might have something. Getting good bands would be the toughest part. Unless an indie label has really good distribution connections there's not much that an indie label can provide for a band that any serious business minded band can't do for themselves, besides screw them over. Only way an indie label is going to make loads of money is if you have loads to invest into it or have big name involved. Maybe if an indie label lucked out, one of their bands got huge without much effort/expense, and the label ripped off the band's publishing from day one, but that ain't likely. I've known a few people that have run indie labels, the one's that could handle it also had million dollar trust funds. Not that it's not do-able, but it ain't something you can do successfully at your leisure.

    I've got my own little complex scheme to implement, once my band sellsout and I've got the capital.

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