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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Making Your Own Music-Record Deals

Today I will provide informative information on record deals

In the past several posts I have covered what every band or solo artist needs when making your own music. Keep in mind that in the music industry there is what is called industry structure. These are several designer methods to choose from:

Major Record Companies

This is one of the ways that most of the records are made. An artist signs a recording contract with a major label like (Warner Bros., Columbia, etc). You record your material and hand it off to the label. The company then turns these into records, but it is not that easy. This procedure is not as easy as it sounds and takes many steps and people involved in making this happen. After songs are recorded and shaped into a record it is then shipped to a distributor. The distributor is the whole-saler that sells your records to the music retail stores and distributes your music digitally as well. The company them gears up its advertising, promotion, marketing, etc., and hopefully with the hard work and effort makes you a star. Every major label has major divisions within there company and play a vital role in the entire process.

Record Companies major divisions and departments

A&R. These are the people and individuals that are the people with "ears" who find and nurture new artists and new bands, and who work creatively with the artists.

Sales. These people get your records into the stores

Marketing. They handle advertising, publicity, album cover design and artwork, promotional videos, in-store displays, promotional merchandise, etc.

Promotion. These folks live solely for the purpose of getting your records played on the radio. They spend their day what we call "jamming" the radio stations and telling the stations play the songs from this band. It is a method of kissing up to the stations so you get played on the air.

Product Management. Product managers are in charge of motivating all the other departments and divisions and getting them to work together as a team and push those records you have produced.

New Media. They are responsible for delivering the music electronically.

Production. They are in charge of manufacturing, cover printing, assembling, and shipping to the distributors.

Finance. This department computes and pays out your royalties and keeps track of the labels income and expenses.

Business Affairs/Legal. These are executives are responsible for the company's contracts, not only with the artists, but with record clubs, foreign licensees, etc. These business affairs people negotiate the deals with other executives, make decisions as to what to get. The legal department gives legal advice and drafts certain contracts.

International. They coordinate the release of your records around the entire world and oversee all functions to foreign territories.

Making your own music and the distribution of your record

All of the major record labels are all distributed by major distributors, which are gigantic networks that move the record from the manufacturing plants into the stores and onto the shelves. After years of consolidation, there are only four major distributors left , and they are owned by the major labels. They are EMI, they distribute to Capital and Virgin Records; Sony BMG to Cloumbia, J, Geffen, MCA, Island, Def Jam and Motown; and WEA to Warner Bros., Elektra and Atlantic.

Independent Record Labels

Independents are not owned by major labels and they are divided into two flavors. One is what is called Major-Distributed Independent. They usually have little or no staff. They sign an artist with a major label to perform all function except recording the records. These companies look for talent but are not seasoned for stardom right away.

True Independent

They are not owned by a major label, but are financed by its owners and investors. A few names are: Ryko, Sub Pop, Epitaph, Rounder Records, Flying Fish, and Victory.

In making your own music this is the rundown of record companies and how they operate. Next post, I will discuss what a record actually is? If you want to record from home click here.