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Written by Jaron Lewis
If you are just starting out in this music industry, you probably think that you need to work with a record label and wonder if it is worth the struggle to land a contract with one. This means that you need to know everything you can about music record labels and how they operate.
There are many questions that you may have about them including “what is a record label responsible for?” or “what do record labels do for artists?” This is everything you need to know about record labels.
The first thing that needs to happen is that the artist needs to get discovered and offered a contract. When an artist enters into a contract with a record label, the contract will generally offer to handle marketing of the recordings in exchange for the royalties on the records sold.
For artists who are just starting out, the record labels will often be a part of the process when choosing record studios, producers, songs, and other musicians to be a part of the process. They will also likely be around during the recording sessions, having a lot of control during this process.
After the record is created and finalized, the next step is that the music needs to be distributed. Part of this revolves around the close working relationship between the record labels and the radio stations. The record label will have their promotions department contact these radio stations when a new album is about to be released.
They will do a variety of different things in order to convince the radio stations to play this music. These two parties are going to work together to promote new artists through events like record-signings, concerts, and interviews.
Record labels can also offer a new artist legitimacy in this very large industry. Through other means of getting your music out there like YouTube or other self-publishing digital music, you are getting noticed but you will not have the reputation that a signed artist will have.
This may not seem like a huge deal but this is something that will determine how much of your music sells and how successful your shows are. You will have the name of a record company backing you that will give you the legitimacy to stand out in the industry.
As you can see, even today there are a lot of benefits to getting a contract with a record company. They will be very active during the process, helping you find the right creative team to create the best album possible for you. After they have helped you create the album, they will then begin the process to promote the album. It is just as beneficial for them for you to be successful as it is to you, so they do what they can in order to give you the best advantage possible. There are three major record labels that are the largest operating today known as, 'The Big Three'. These include:
There are also many other smaller record labels that fall under the umbrella of these 3 larger companies. For instant, Universal Music Group either owns or has a joint share in Interscope Records, Capitol Music Group, Def Jam Recordings, and more.
Warner Music Group's flagship labels include Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, and Rhino Entertainment, and others.
Sony Music oversees Columbia Records, RCA, Epic Records, Legacy Recordings, plus more.
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