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How to run a label, and other business tips?
Old 8th December 2016
  #1
How to run a label, and other business tips?

Hi Suzanne,
got a non-music question for you please:
Many of your releases were on your own label, and you've run a company doing work for commercials.
Could you share some experience how to set up a label and how to get ahead in the music business? Did things change much for you since the nineties? Any pitfalls to avoid?

Thanks!
Old 12th December 2016
  #2
Suzanne Ciani
 
Sevwave's Avatar
 

Hi...
Well, it might be good for you to know that I had particular qualifications to run a business...I had had no business experience and ran my commercial production company like an Italian family and thought of the music studio during sessions as a surgical operative room because my dad was a doctor. Everything had to be done to the highest standard, as if a life depended on it!

When I wanted to start my own record label, I had no idea what I was doing....and found someone who had done that and gradually, in the process of doing it, it all became clear. Just forge ahead. I started to do my digital distribution through CDBaby, and they've been just great and make it all easy...getting the ISRC codes, etc. Do read some books on the music business...its really really important to understand how the business works...the legal aspects and copyright and also the various income streams...where the money comes from. Berklee College of Music has some great online courses, as well. I think you learn in layers...you need to get your feet wet and start wading in the stream and it all will start to make sense.
A pitfall to avoid: never give up your publishing!
Have things changed since the nineties? Yes...in many ways...first the Indy distribution of CD's kind of dried up, then we went through pirating, ugh!, and now we have a healthy digital market and are also back to physical product again...so it does keep changing! My label hasn't yet gotten involved in making LP's...and I'm not sure we will...let's see what happens!

Best,
Suzanne
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