what do indie labels usually provide the artist they sign...
ine-kpro...
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#1
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
  #1
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Thread Starter
what do indie labels usually provide the artist they sign...

wondering whats the general obligation of an indie label to an artist.
what cut or profit does the label get out of signing up an artist.
what are the usual objectives of a label to an artitst.
what does the average artist expect from a label.
why would an artist sign up to an indie label.

eg.
- label provides musicians or finds songs for the artist?
- 30% publishing goes to label of artists written works?
- label manages artist?

need some info from those in the know or with experiences to help decide what is best when signing an artist.
#2
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
  #2
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The basic nature of a record deal is the artist pays for everything (by recouping costs) and the label keeps most of the profit. That's your starting point when negotiating a deal, indie or major.

I would highly recommend you to spend a couple of hundred $ to go see a good music lawyer and get some basic "what to watch out for" knowledge in a recording or publishing deal. It will pay off many times over in the end if you're successful.
#3
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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Are you geared for profit or just keen to get out music you feel the world has to listen to?
If you want to get insight in the workings of deals, read the books by Moses Avalon.

"what cut or profit does the label get out of signing up an artist."
Let's assume the artist gets 10% (which could be brought further down by any cheats in the small print) ...so the 90% are cut by distribution, costs for manufacturing, etc.etc. - there are so many variables in that question it's nearly pointless without more precise questions.

"what does the average artist expect from a label."
Promotion, contacts, getting the word out, getting the discs to the shops (or data to the web) Most important something which he can not do himself: contacts

"why would an artist sign up to an indie label."
Because the majorlabel contracts are, errr...debatable? Or maybe the artist's music is not flavour of the month? Or maybe the majors don't want him?

"- label provides musicians or finds songs for the artist?"
Why should a label sign an artist without (brilliant) songs?

"- 30% publishing goes to label of artists written works?"
Labels don't publish, publishers do. Some are both, beware.

"- label manages artist?" Management is about contacts.
#4
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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It matters what label.

A smaller indie may give you 6k to make a record, then distribute/promo the record and give you a small tour support budget.

You will still sleep on floors and eat Tbell a lot on tour.
#5
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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There are Indie Labels, and there are indie labels.

These days more and more indies are in the business of picking up master already done. Often they make a decent deal with the artist, but they also don't put all that much into it.

Real indies...like Razor and Tie, do generally pay for the record. Therefore, they promote better because they are at risk.

Thats a gross oversimplification, but not really.
#6
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methlab View Post
It matters what label.

A smaller indie may give you 6k to make a record, then distribute/promo the record and give you a small tour support budget.

You will still sleep on floors and eat Tbell a lot on tour.
I had a nice deal with Mammoth. They set us up at Cole for two months preproduction and little over a month at Track in North Hollywood. We got a nice Dodge 3500, some nice tour support, and they hooked up some great promotional stuff, like stand-up displays at Best Buy.

They made recommendations about song selection, but ultimately, we were making our own record.

Great experience. (uh, no, we didn't recoup. But we had a lot of fun!)
#7
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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There is simply no standard anymore. The word indie can mean many things these days...from a bedroom label to a Wall St. funded corporation who uses an independent distributor. There is no valid answer unless more details are given.

I've run an indie label for 16 years and the industry has changed drastically over the past few years. In lieu of these changes all sorts of unique deals are being offered these days.
#8
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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I'd like to add to this question as this is important stuff.
I have just started a production company with the idea of discovering, recording and producing artists for little or no money on their part. We would sign them to a production deal of some kind (input appreciated) and then what?
At this point we would have a retail ready CD package ready to shop or to get a ditribution deal or whatever you do these days. I am guilty of being a typical engineer who didn't want to know this stuff in the past but it's a different world now and a different model for shopping artists anyway.

any input would be appreciated

magnet
#9
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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Our last deal is a standard (for small indies these days) 50/50 after-profit deal. The label put down $1200 or so in production costs and roughly $10000 for manufacturing, publicists (by far the biggest cost), etc.. Small potatoes. The 50/50 deal is pretty standard, I wouldn't accept less without some good reason to do so.
#10
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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indie means so many different things to so many different people.
most of the diy/small time labels i know and deal with will pay for the pressing, promotion, etc. they'll give the band 10% of the press and offer them the rest at cost. the rest they sell through mailorder.
#11
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ine-kpro... View Post
wondering whats the general obligation of an indie label to an artist.
what cut or profit does the label get out of signing up an artist.
what are the usual objectives of a label to an artitst.
what does the average artist expect from a label.
why would an artist sign up to an indie label.

eg.
- label provides musicians or finds songs for the artist?
- 30% publishing goes to label of artists written works?
- label manages artist?

need some info from those in the know or with experiences to help decide what is best when signing an artist.


the days of getting a record deal and "thats it" are over (if there ever started)
nowadays YOU have to do everything... recording, concerts, promotions, fanbase, marketing EVERYTHING!.

Labels are nothing else than a stupid bank. they will lend you money that you will payback
by selling albums. thats it. if the album doesnt sell then you debt is off. so are u !

the label has money and conncections for all of the above things, but you should be out there finding booking agents and places to do conerts, finding whats the best deal in duplication, marketing agent and/or plan, connections, songs placed in TV and radio etc.

so what can u except from a record deal? you have to do ALL the work to make it happen.

worst yet, thats what the label wants.
#12
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnet View Post
I'd like to add to this question as this is important stuff.
I have just started a production company with the idea of discovering, recording and producing artists for little or no money on their part. We would sign them to a production deal of some kind (input appreciated) and then what?
At this point we would have a retail ready CD package ready to shop or to get a ditribution deal or whatever you do these days. I am guilty of being a typical engineer who didn't want to know this stuff in the past but it's a different world now and a different model for shopping artists anyway.

any input would be appreciated

magnet


soooooooooo many poeple are doing that. like making beats. a dime a dozen.

what makes a production company work is the conections to big labels/distributors.

the record label has to trust your judgement in what good. yep we all thought is that easy. when i worked for a label and a big time producer.. I got 10-20 demos a day of people saying this the next big thing, you gotta listen to it etc. phone call from all over the world saying the same.
the demos werent bad at all, they where ok but if u have 100 demos a week...
and u listen u start noticing that to actually sell that music it needs TO BE THE DEMO.
something that sounds so good it blows you away. u also have to listen and dont think music... think business... who will be the competition, who does it soound like, how will it be marketed, to whom etc. how does the artist look like. anything that makes it stand out. is there a demand for it, etc.

all in all, its a product just like a can of coke, an ipod , a 20 dollar pieace of plastic.

that why i hate that industry and i rather find my music rather that what its shoved into my face.
#13
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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You couldn't be more wrong. Yes, there are labels like that, but the breadth of the independent world is so vast, that to make assumptions like that is just naive.




Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers View Post
the days of getting a record deal and "thats it" are over (if there ever started)
nowadays YOU have to do everything... recording, concerts, promotions, fanbase, marketing EVERYTHING!.

Labels are nothing else than a stupid bank. they will lend you money that you will payback
by selling albums. thats it. if the album doesnt sell then you debt is off. so are u !

the label has money and conncections for all of the above things, but you should be out there finding booking agents and places to do conerts, finding whats the best deal in duplication, marketing agent and/or plan, connections, songs placed in TV and radio etc.

so what can u except from a record deal? you have to do ALL the work to make it happen.

worst yet, thats what the label wants.
#14
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper View Post
I had a nice deal with Mammoth. They set us up at Cole for two months preproduction and little over a month at Track in North Hollywood. We got a nice Dodge 3500, some nice tour support, and they hooked up some great promotional stuff, like stand-up displays at Best Buy.

They made recommendations about song selection, but ultimately, we were making our own record.

Great experience. (uh, no, we didn't recoup. But we had a lot of fun!)
Nice. I know some good guys who were on Mammoth. My Friend Steve is a band that comes to mind. I also produced a singer who's band was on there.

I was a LAVA guy myself...killer label.
#15
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
  #15
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indie versus major waffle!

Obviously depends on the label, of course indies can get bought up by majors. But remember indies funded by majors can also get dropped, they have a term period (worth checking when it expires if your signing a deal.) Always get a music lawyer, you can't do a deal without. I'll repeat just 'cos i really believe it, you must use a lawyer to do a record deal, there are so many clauses that can be unfair.
In my experience you often get 50/50 split on profits.
The objective of the label is to sell records! They may put up money for merch and expect returns on that. Indies can often have some kind of ethos in terms of what they put out, so there's a slim chance they put something out to add cohesion to there release list. I've had this happen where they just put something out paid a bit for publicity and that was it, but it was all expected, i was happy for the record to just get release. You could argue that you should set your sights higher than this!
What you should expect is obviously more than just a release, you need a team. Press officer, radio plugger, some tour support. The list could go on but you need the triangle of radio, press and live to stimulate the record shops to actually bother to stock you properly, the distributer can only do so much by themselves fundamentally speaking.
Why would you sign to an indie? Well certain types of music suit certain types of labels. You should pick your dream labels and work your way down! For me the plusses of a major are they can push all the buttons immediately if something starts to kick off. Also they'll fund you a good chunk to push you a fair bit whether it kicks off or not. The negatives are if it doesn't kick off they'll often drop you/ stop funding you pretty quick. There are great people that are really into great music working at majors, however its the financial wing of it that can give it the nasty bite that gives them the bad name. Unfair? Well its the music business isn't it!!
Positives of the indie are if it doesn't go bonkers immediately you are just some dude putting out music on an indie doing his or her own thing. No problem onto the second album for another shot! No ones gonna judge you for failing to be the next big thing after someone put a big chunk of cash behind you. Negatives are if you do get pick up its hard to make the most of all the opportunites that come your way because indies are generally struggling with cash flow.

I would always keep publishing separate from record deals unless the advance is amazing and the term short. An indie finding songs for an artist? Er.. if you are an artist i would recommend that to be your job! I don't think a label should manage artist, if you think about it a bit the dynamic is totally wrong, you'll get too many conflicts of interests.

Hope thats of use, truth is you need a lawyer and a manager to steer you through alot of this!

Cheers
#16
26th October 2006
Old 26th October 2006
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Labels bring sales and promotion to the table. Sales gets it in the stores at the right time to be co-ordinated with your promotion, publicity and advertising. Promotion gets it on the air. This is actually a lot more expensive to do well than the cost of production. When all is said and done, the artists and writers get half the net profit and the label gets the other half.

Some indi labels have it together. Many don't which is a great big very expensive problem for artists.
#17
27th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methlab View Post
Nice. I know some good guys who were on Mammoth. My Friend Steve is a band that comes to mind. I also produced a singer who's band was on there.

I was a LAVA guy myself...killer label.
Nice guys, Jason and all. I used to do some work over there, and my band eventually went with Atlantic.
#18
17th January 2008
Old 17th January 2008
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