Listen to today’s Music Business Poochcast™
The Ways You Make Money with an Indie Record Label
© 2010 David J. Spangenberg
Previously I’ve covered the benefits of owning your own Indie Labels,
and the Legal/Contractual ends.
Now let’s start making some Money!
And to keep things simple, I’m just going to stick to the particular situation where an Artist, and/or their Manager, owns his/her/their own Record Company, and the Artist, at least at the moment, the only Artist on the Company.
Yes, at some point in time you may wish to add other Artist[s] to your Label, and if you’re a Band, some of the members may wish to do solo projects. No matter what, this will work in those situations, also…
And, although much of this information is aimed at self-ownership, it will help Producers and other type of Indie Owners to check this info out, also. By the way, the following info is in no special order – it’s all important…
1. If you are a Record Company and/or a Performer, sign up with “Sound Exchange” [soundexchange.com]. They will pay you royalties for Artist Performances for Internet only Webcasters, Satellite Radio [Sirius/XM], digital cable and satellite television music performances. And you can sign up as both Artist & Record Company – and get paid twice!
Also, if you’ve had stuff on the Internet, etc., playing lately, do a search on Sound Exchange to see if you already have money due you…
Btw, they’re still fighting about it in Congress, but it looks more and more like there will be a settlement eventually, so that you can get paid for your Artist/Record Company Performances for AM & FM Radio. We’re one of 3 countries in the world where the Artist doesn’t get paid!
2. If you’re the Publisher, also, [You aren’t???!!! You should be!] you need to fill out your “Work Registration” form for each recording of each particular song – so they can track them and pay you! You’ll find these forms, depending on your “Performing Rights Organization” [PRO], [in the USA] at bmi.com, ascap.com or sesac.com
3. Labeling Your Products:
a. Every physical recording you put out should have the correct labeling on it. Don’t forget placing the two “copyright notices” on your Packaging and your CD.
(i) Song Ownership Copyright
Ex. All Songs © 2010 Poochstuff Publishing
and mention whether it’s BMI, ASCAP, or Sesac…
(ii) Recording Ownership Copyright
Ex. (P) 2010 Pooch’s Records
(iii). Make sure Your Record Company name, and your LLC or whatever name, and a Mailing Address [Use a PO Box unless you have an office!]
b. Every Web Site where the product is promoted or sold should also have the above information.
Simply put, it’s been proven, the more this info stands out, and doesn’t have to be searched for, the more likely it will be tracked – so you can get paid…
4. Manufacture & Distribution:
Yes, you will need some physical copies, CD’s, DVD’s , etc.,
even in 2011, because that’s what some people want or need, it’s great promo, and it can make you money.
You have the Internet – now use it. Check out CDBaby and Tunecore, plus there’s Reverbnation, etc., to sell and distribute your digital and physical copies.
Of course, if you can get some stores to sell it great, plus selling at your gigs, etc.
5. Merchandising & Branding
This is a way to make a lot of money, especially nowadays, and includes selling T’s and all other kinds of products associated with Bands.
And if you can work out deals with “Sponsors”, like clothing lines, equipment companies, etc., all the better. They may help promote you and even sponsor your touring, for examples…
This has become a very important way to not only make money, but also to get known which makes you even more money. I am talking about placing your recordings in TV Shows & Films. Even if you have to make little or no money on an Independent Venture, it’s still very important exposure!
And remember, if they’re using your song[s] and your recordings, that equals two separate payments, though it may be licensed together…
Well, that’s it for today, but now I’m asking you to “please stay tuned for the next episode”, where I’ll discuss how to actually Operate and Run your Indie Label… Also remember, if you have any questions, or need my help in any way guiding you through your personal maze or to handle your legal or contractual end, please email me at email@example.com
David J. Spangenberg
Music Business Consultant
Educator, Advisor, and