How Much Does It Cost to Release an Album? You have to absolutely LOVE what you are doing. Here are just a few things you can do to keep costs down: As you can see, when it comes to starting a record label with no money, it all comes down to careful cost management. What You Need to Know Before You Start Your Own Record Label, Get the 411 On Starting Your Own Record Label, How to Spend Music Business Loans and Grants, Why Bringing Your Demo to a Record Label Is a Bad Idea, Here Is a Look at How Indie Record Labels Work, How a Music Promo Can Help Generate Buzz for Your Band's Music, The Pros and Cons of Independent Record Label Deals, Here Are 5 Important Lessons Big Labels Learned From Indie Imprints, Terms You Need to Know in the Music Business, Why Record Labels Have Such Tremendous Influence on the Music Industry. warning. Get several quotes for every expense before you open your wallet. This dream is not as difficult to attain as you might think: It’s actually much, MUCH harder. However, don't invest in cool but unnecessary things like colored vinyl. I guess my real point, then, is not why you shouldn’t start a record label. Skipping physical product for your first releases translates into significant savings but be sure to consider your audience. The Balance Careers uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. The Balance Careers uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Also, take the time to work out the financial stuff before the relationship begins. That long list of tasks you often have to take on when you start a record label demonstrates the two most crucial things you need to know about getting into the indie label business. Why? Keep in mind, though, that some bands really "get it" and are happy to grow with you and the label because they know how much time and money you're dedicating to get their music heard. But you can start a label for less than you may imagine. Like any startup, starting a record label is hard work, and will take constant effort and time on your part. Starting your own record label — whether for fun or in the hopes of turning into a real, live business — is a lot of hard work. If you can't handle it, there are consultants and companies that will manage your social media profiles for you for a cost. By using The Balance Careers, you accept our. Let's be clear up front: You cannot start a record label with absolutely no cash — not if you actually want to have a functioning label. If you don't, you'll get tired of the hard work and ups and downs very quickly. More on that a little later. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. Everything You Need to Know About Indie Label Contracts, Review of the Popular Independent Online Music Distributor CD Baby, Find The Perfect Job in the Music Industry, Some Insights Into How to Make Money in the Music Business, The Pros and Cons of Independent Record Label Deals. But you can start a label for less than you may imagine. Just like you need to give people some way to buy your albums, you need to let them know they exist in the first place. But with the advent of social media, there isn't as much pressure as there was in previous years. To do that, you have to promote. You might not know anything about starting a record label or how the music industry works, but you know you love music and you always have. 3 Questions to Ask Before Signing a 360 Record Deal. If cash does start coming in, misunderstandings can blossom with ease and you don't need that kind of stress. Knowing someone you can start out with can help both of you work out the kinks of the industry, and can help you add more artists to your roster. Buy a shirt. Have you ever thought about getting into the record label business? It is hard, hard work, but it saves you thousands. Before you start down your path, here are 35 extremely difficult steps that will help you start your record label. Starting your own record label — whether for fun or in the hopes of turning into a real, live business — is a lot of hard work. If you want to have a physical product, you'll have to pay for pressing of CDs and/or vinyl. According to, it isn't as costly to run an indie label in the U.S., Canada, Australia or the United Kingdom. There are a lot of costs to consider, from pressing albums to promotion and paying out royalties. There's nothing like being ready to go into business and not have anyone to sign and promote. Maybe you’ve just recently finished your undergraduate degree and you are waiting for the perfect job to come along, or maybe you’re considering graduate school and you’re not sure how what career path to pursue. While manufacturing, distribution, and promotion might be the practical things you need to release a record, know the following before worrying about that: This article began by emphasizing how expensive releasing records can be and will finish by stressing that point as well. But some bands really don't understand how it works. It's a pain personally and for the label. Perhaps you should start your own record label and present your new finds to an equally appreciative audience. You may also be able to set aside some money out of this budget for promotion, although it may be low-scale. Look before you leap, but if you like what you see, leap away. Some labels just start out with one artist. Complain About How Your Current Job Is Keeping You From Starting Your Label – Yessss, yes! Of course, that list is not exhaustive, and the exact price tag for these things can vary so wildly it's hard to even give a starting point. In other words, be ready to make up for your lack of cash by devoting extra time to the … If you really want to sell physical copies of your label's music, you may want to try hitting up some of the indie record stores in your community. Elaborate contracts are not necessary for your purposes here. Keep on top of your promotion through photos, videos, audio clips, regular posts and events. This can cover the cost of your equipment (mixers, microphones, amps, cables, computers), licensing and business registration. So if you have someone in your family or network of friends who isn't getting noticed by a major label, step in! The best thing to do is research. In some cases, the services won't even charge so it's free. The best way to possibly get yourself out there is through digital channels. At least until selling a lot of music. Get Dead’s New Record Ominously Shows Up in Trump’s Streaming Library, We Fact-Checked the Lyrics To “Bawitdaba” and, as Expected, It All Checks Out, Opinion: Two Hot People Having a Kid Together Is Eugenics, Opinion: I Can’t Help You Raise Kids Because I Don’t Believe in a Patriarchy, Opinion: If You Look Around the Venue and You Don’t See the Poser, You’re the Poser, Quiz: You Ever Get So Drunk That You Forget You’re at CVS and Also on Acid, The Top 5 Comments on Hard Drive Articles This Week, Coward Hour Coil Exclusive: Entrapped by the FBI, The Top 5 Comments on Hard Drive Articles This Week. You need to target media - online, press and any relevant radio. Many small, indie labels write very simple contracts without consulting a lawyer, but if you're not sure where to start, a lawyer can help you draw up a standard contract. But here's the thing— you can be creative and keep your costs down considerably. She has worked in the music industry for over two decades.