New label investing

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Beatport
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New label investing

Post by Beatport » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:25 pm

I just happened to inherit some money and I'm at liberty to "dabble" in some things I have otherwise missed in the past.

I've been considering starting a small boutique label for some time now. I don't expect to make any real $$ from a label as I know it's a pretty dead business. I'm not quitting my regular job and have no plans to. I would however just like to get a presence and have the label as a creative outlet for myself and other artists. obviously the music has to be good and I already have 2 artists in mind that I respect for our first releases.

So my question is this: what/how should I invest in at first? Advertising? Website/graphics? Lets say for starters you have 20k, where would you put it?
Last edited by Beatport on Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

contakt321
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Re: New label investing

Post by contakt321 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:31 pm

I think the first thing you should invest in is getting a solid understanding of the music industry today and where it's going.

Invest some time into reading a few music industry books or books on releasing records. Also, read "Positioning" by Al Ries and Jack Trout - the best book on marketing ever.

Hands down this will be the best investment you make.

Secondly, when you do "invest" in this label/these artists, I strongly advise you to avoid working with artists who aren't willing to ACTUALLY work their @ss off promoting themselves and the release on their label.

ChiDJ
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Re: New label investing

Post by ChiDJ » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:33 pm

World Wide digital disribution network.

Wish you luck my friend. You're walking into a lion's den.
"Let you're body feel the sound! Let it cover you up and down!"

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Beatport
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Re: New label investing

Post by Beatport » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:34 pm

that's a good idea. Although I have worked in marketing in the past for a dot com company, I guess the music biz is a niche i should explore.

Beatport
Posts: 176
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Re: New label investing

Post by Beatport » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:35 pm

ChiDJ wrote:World Wide digital disribution network.

Wish you luck my friend. You're walking into a lion's den.
Why's that? hahaha. I knew I would get this response. So, I'm assuming you think it's a bad idea for anyone to start a "label" even if it's purely used as a creative outlet not meant for a serious revenue stream? I look at small labels that I respect that seem relatively busy, Traum for instance - it's just one dude - seems like some work, but I wouldn't call it a "lion's den". They put out good music and have a manageable schedule. That's the scale I'm talking about.
Last edited by Beatport on Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Aequitas123
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Re: New label investing

Post by Aequitas123 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:38 pm

Well its a dying industry for sure, and you'll be one of thousands of other record labels... but thats no reason to give up.

I'd invest in a website, register your business and then keep as much money as you can for later.

Put it this way, the smartest move you can make with a record label is to find bands/artists that really don't need you. Bands or artists who are exceedingly talented and hard working will probably do very well without you. Now if you have something to offer them that would make their rise to stardom easier, quicker or cheaper (money, studio, promo, distribution...etc) then you could find a relationship that works for both parties.

Good luck.

contakt321
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Re: New label investing

Post by contakt321 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:44 pm

Not to be jerky, but - if you plan on "investing" (I use quotes, because I don't see it as an investment to throw money at a business that you don't know the operating climate) I strongly urge you to learn about the market.

As for marketing:

1. That book is the basis of what branding and marketing has become in the present (it was written in the 80's, revised since).
2. Music marketing is pretty different than marketing in a traditional sense. Investigate how music publicity works, dj servicing, the media outlets for your genre of choice, who your competitors are, what they do right, what they do wrong, how big your genre is, who the biggest artists and djs are, how to reach them, etc.

Lastly:

1. Develop a business plan. Put together a concrete plan for the first year, and then the following two years. In this plan outline all of the costs (both time and money), the marketing on the two albums and all of the costs. Finally, do research, evaluate what sales are for similar sized labels in the genre, and include all of this in your plan. If you like what you see, you may be onto something good, if the return isn't good, you may want to rethink your strategies, spending, etc.
2. Running a record label is a labor of love. You must be willing to labor and you must love it, because most labels aren't (very) profitable. It's a thankless task where if a record sells well, typically artists think it's because they are so talented, and if it doesn't do well, the label didn't promote the record enough.

Not trying to be cynical - but you know all the cool stuff about running a label, and can imagine it well. Just wanted to give you a heads up on the other stuff.

contakt321
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Re: New label investing

Post by contakt321 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:44 pm

Aequitas123 wrote:Well its a dying industry for sure, and you'll be one of thousands of other record labels... but thats no reason to give up.

I'd invest in a website, register your business and then keep as much money as you can for later.

Put it this way, the smartest move you can make with a record label is to find bands/artists that really don't need you. Bands or artists who are exceedingly talented and hard working will probably do very well without you. Now if you have something to offer them that would make their rise to stardom easier, quicker or cheaper (money, studio, promo, distribution...etc) then you could find a relationship that works for both parties.

Good luck.
I 100% agree with this :)

v00d00ppl
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Re: New label investing

Post by v00d00ppl » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:05 pm

www.myprojectopus.com

great place to sell your music.
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ethios4
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Re: New label investing

Post by ethios4 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:27 pm

contakt321 wrote: Also, read "Positioning" by Al Ries and Jack Trout - the best book on marketing ever.
Ooo, thanks! Picking this up today...

aisling
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Re: New label investing

Post by aisling » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:38 pm

:D good stuff, I wish you success, inspiration and prosperity with your endeavor. I had some "investment capital" my self in early millennium, I tried a similar endeavor......... to make a long story short, it bankrupted me 3 years later. I was following passion and not a strong real business sense. I learned a lot and have no regrets, except my credit rating for 7 years. My advice is don't get involved with "partners" who are your "friends".......
http://soundcloud.com/aislingbeing


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