Signing With A “REAL” Label
How do you know you’re making the right decision when a label or a production company approaches you about helping you become successful? How can you tell they have great intentions for you and for your future in the music industry? Is it really a label that I am signing with, or is it really a production company?
You see production companies are simply the middle men who use your demos and go around to top labels with the hope that the label will sign you and then they as the production company will reap the benefits if you become successful. I’m not gonna knock production companies because I believe that everyone needs to have their own hustle. Watch out for the contracts that you have with those companies because they can lock you in into terms that may be detrimental to you in the future.
Here is what you would need to know if you’re truly searching to be signed or a label does in fact approach you…..call this “the guide” to determine if you should go with them or not:
A real label has:
- Staffers and/or freelancers who provide both traditional marketing and publicity as well as online social networking support
- Staffers and/or freelancers that continually pitch records to terrestrial radio – still a crucial element in breaking a new artist especially in pop, R&B, hip hop, rock, and country
- A video department to produce, oversee and pay for the production of promo videos and electronic press kits (EPKs)
- Relationships with popular TV shows such as Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show and Last Call to help the artist garner invaluable exposure
- Relationships with leading digital services to promote an artist – for instance, by continually lobbying iTunes to feature the artist on its home page
- Relationships with music supervisors and ad agencies to secure placements in TV shows, movies and ad campaigns
- Distribution channels through all the big-box chains, such as Walmart, Best Buy and Target to sell physical copies of records
- The ability to coordinate digital distribution to hundreds of digital music services throughout the world
- The money necessary to pay staffers and freelancers to do the all the work above
- Most importantly, the financial capacity to pay the artist an advance on top of production costs so He/She can quit his/her day gig
Now that you know what to look out for, I wish that anyone who reads this makes a wise decision about who they sign with.