The number one goal for every band that starts making music is to eventually get signed to a reputable record company. Record Labels are companies that find up and coming bands, sign them to their company, and will front the cost to record and distribute the bands audio material to retailers through their distribution contacts. With the advent of the Internet and recording technology becoming so user friendly, within the last decade it has spawned a more dominate independent music market that is filled with bands recording their own material and releasing it through various social media outlets in hopes to gain attention from record labels to assist in furthering their career.
How it works:
Record Labels have a number of departments split up into sections that handle various aspects of each band. Initially, their Artist and Repertoire department are employees that search the independent music market for bands that show solid potential for expansion in their music scene. Record labels will focus on items such as the bands music and songwriting skills, past touring history, CD and merchandise sales, and online presence to determine if the band would be a worthy investment to make. If they decide the band is, the band is then offered a contract to sign and be represented by that label. Once a band is signed to a record label that label will then offer an advancement to the band at the start of each album cycle. Since the record label will front the cost of the production and distribution of the albums the band creates while under representation from the label, the label will then take the majority of sales the artists make off of their record material. Once the band has paid back their debt to the record label, the artist then starts to make a profit off of the CDs they're selling while out on tour, or in retail stores.
How to get record label attention:
The issue of illegal downloading has brought on a lot of changes in the record industry over the past decade. Years ago, labels would invest and sign on bands based off of their talent alone and spend time and the money to build that band. Currently, a lot of the work has fallen into the hands of the artist to ensure they have put in the time and money to build them and see a level of success that can attract attention from a record label. A few areas to make sure you have covered:
A� Songwriting: Regardless of what genre you wish to perform in, the number one focus will always go back to the quality of songs you're writing.
A� Branding: Ensuring your band has an artistic vision and can offer something creative and unique to your brand is essential. Whether it's through CD artwork or merchandise, having a clear-cut image of who you are as musicians is a must.
A� Connect with your fans: Whether it's through consistent playing in your town and region, or through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr, record labels want to see how you connect and establish relationships with your fans.
A� Press Kits: This is essentially your resume as an artist. It needs to include a bio, pictures of your CD and merchandise, major accomplishments and show history. This should be mailed or emailed to the A&R department of the label you're aiming for.
A� Profits: Record Labels are interested in making money, so if you're on the right track to turning a profit with your product, then that will help them in their decision making.