Start Your Own Record Label

Record Label Business Plan

This downloadable business plan gives you the complete blueprint to create your own record label from scratch, no matter what you current level of business expertise is. This is the perfect system for someone who wants to be MORE than just a musician; this is for the person that wants to be able to make real money with their musical talent! When you get this business plan, you will also receive a free set of fill-in contracts; these are full prepared and legal contracts that you simply have to fill out and sign Then you will be able to write down everything that you need to keep in writing! The business plan will help you create a personalized cash-flow plan, analyze the industry, and market your music and products to help you make the money that you deserve from your music!

Record Label Business Plan Summary


4.6 stars out of 11 votes

Contents: Ebook
Author: Arnold Stolting
Price: $197.00

My Record Label Business Plan Review

Highly Recommended

All of the information that the author discovered has been compiled into a downloadable ebook so that purchasers of Record Label Business Plan can begin putting the methods it teaches to use as soon as possible.

This ebook does what it says, and you can read all the claims at his official website. I highly recommend getting this book.

Download Now

Background On The Internet

In 1999, college student Shawn Fanning introduced Napster, a program that allowed users to swap music files over the Internet. This began the downfall of the recorded music industry as it had existed until that time. By 2001, the courts had ruled that Napster was in violation of copyright laws and forced it to shut down its file-sharing operations. New file-sharing services sprang up to fill the void, including Aimster, Grokster, Kazaa, Limewire, and BitTorrent. By January of 2002, 58.5 of the U.S. population was using the Internet. By 2003, it was estimated that the illegal sharing of music files had grown to about 2.6 billion files per month.

Music And The Internet

When the Internet was in its infancy in the late 1980s, only a few audiophiles and tech-savvy musicians were online, communicating through the few rudimentary online services such as CompuServe and General Electric's Genie. The author of this book was one of those early online music pioneers, as a systems operator on CompuServe's MIDI forum. Modem baud rates were such back then that even small text files took a while to download, and the online services were charging by the minute. One of the most progressive music exchanges occurring at the time were in the form of MIDI data files,2 small enough to move through the dialup systems. The MIDI forum had three sections (1) the message section, where members could post messages and exchange ideas, (2) the libraries section, which hosted the MIDI library of songs, and (3) the conference room, where members held live chats, sometimes featuring a well-known artist or producer. As musicians started to exchange ideas via MIDI files over the...

Current online environment

Recently acquired the technology to create high-quality recordings will now be able to achieve a moderate level of success, creating a middle class of professional entertainers that has been missing in the previous decades. A record deal with a major record label may no longer be necessary to enjoy the success of having a large fan base to purchase recorded music, concert tickets, and artist memorabilia. Several chapters in this book are dedicated to outlining how to make this happen. In other words, the self-promoted artist and those on small independent labels now have several outlets through which they can promote and sell music to a wider market than in the past, basically lowering the barrier of entry into the music business. Not only are these small enterprises able to promote and distribute music at a fraction of the previous cost, but the newer, sophisticated techniques for music discovery via search engines, collaborative-filtering software, and music networking sites make it...

Special Markets And Products

Retailers who use special products to draw customers to their retail establishments. In 2007, the Eagles decided to release their new album only in Wal-Mart stores. In exchange for the exclusive opportunity to offer the album, Wal-Mart spent a lot of money promoting the album that otherwise would have been spent by the record label or, in some cases, not spent at all. This type of marketing can now be extended to the Internet, with record companies trying out all sorts of new business models to make money from recorded music. Social networking sites such as imeem have made agreements with record labels to share advertising revenue in exchange for licensing their music to the site for streaming. Microsoft agreed to pay record labels a small token for each one of its Zune hardware players sold in exchange for offering music tracks for download that are compatible with the hardware.

Forwarding and Masking

Web sites are stored on a physical server, or host. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own for use by their clients. They also provide Internet connectivity to access that server. Most services provide basic functions for storing web pages, storing files, and offering e-mail. If a record label has its own server, it can use URL redirection to forward the artist's URL to the label's server. If the label does not have a host provider, many commercial companies offer space to host a web site. There are companies that offer free web site hosting. These services should be avoided for a professional site such as that for an artist or record label because the free services tack on banner advertisements and popup ads. These advertisements annoy customers and discourage them from visiting the site. It is worth the money to pay for a cleaner site, without all the ads. There are two considerations when selecting a web host storage space and bandwidth.2

Creative Tactics for Television

Needledrop is an occupational term common to advertising agencies and the music industry. It refers to music that is prefabricated, multipurpose, and highly conventional. It is, in that sense, the musical equivalent of stock photos, clip art, or canned copy. Needledrop is an inexpensive substitute for original music paid for on a one-time basis, it is dropped into a commercial or film when a particular normative effect is desired.30

General NFoRMAToN on FiNDiNG Your market onlne

They generally have information related to the market based on commissioned research studies. For the music business, that would include, but is not limited to, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), the Association of Independent Music (AIM), various genre-specific trade organizations, and the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI). 3. Trade and consumer publications. Read up on the market and the industry by subscribing to the top publications. For the music business that would include, but is not limited to, Billboard, CMJ Network, Radio and Records, Pollstar, Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone and Variety. Check out Billboard. biz. There are also genre-specific magazines such as Source, Vibe, Country Weekly, Downbeat, Remix, Christian Musician, and Alternative Press. Table 10.2 Industry Organizations Music Industry Trade Associations Table 10.2 Industry...

Determining The Target Market For Your Artist

It's generally more difficult to identify the target market for a new artist. Without a sales track record, the marketing department of a record label must make some assumptions about a new artist. Marketers would be wise to examine market characteristics that relate to other artists who are perceived as similar or who would appeal to a similar market. They may look at consumer information for more established acts and decide that this is the market they should go for. And at times, the product itself, in this case the artist, may undergo some modifications to successfully appeal to the target market. It is also possible to survey visitors online or at live shows regardless of size of an artist's fan base.

Basics For Internet Promotion

In the music business it is necessary to build brand awareness. Whether it's with the artist or the record label, you need to create a sense of familiarity in the consumer's mind. This can be done through many tactics available both on and off the Internet, which should be designed to lure customers to the artist's web site or drive them into the stores to buy the artist's records.

Focus on Technology

The music industry is an area of business that is facing tremendous challenges. Not only are many of its products (singers, bands, and acts) suffering from increasingly short product life cycles, but there are also other concerns. The market is moving very quickly, tastes are constantly changing, and an act's fan base may never be big enough or loyal enough to warrant long-term commitment by a label to the act. The financial support and investment necessary to sustain an act that is not performing in terms of sales can no longer be justified. 2. How can the music industry turn this around to its advantage Is it too late

Getting Airplay on Internet Radio stations

Many media and music companies looking for additional ways to disseminate content and attract visitors to their web sites have turned to web radio as an economical way to achieve these goals. The most common way to provide this content is through podcasts that can be downloaded and consumed at the listener's convenience, but many who want to provide a real-time listening experience are turning to webcasting. For example, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) provides a network of streaming radio stations to increase exposure for ASCAP songwriters. The web site states

RiSe And PopulariTy Of SociAl Networking SiTES

The article Could Social Networking Save the Music Industry, on (January 2007), professed that the new generation of social networking sites that emphasize music might be just what the industry needs to pull teens and young adults away from illegal file-sharing networks and back into the world of legal music consumers. These advertiser-supported sites offer what cio-today calls a better form of free for consumers.

The relaunched Napster changes the music marketing mix

The Napster brand has had a varied history. Its initial incarnation was as the first widely used service for 'free' peer-to-peer (P2P) music sharing. The record companies mounted a legal challenge to Napster due to lost revenues on music sales which eventually forced it to close. But the Napster brand was purchased and its second incarnation offers a legal music download service in direct competition with Apple's iTunes.

Go Lightly on the

With the introduction of Google AdSense, many web sites that were formerly ad-free have become littered with ads in an effort for the site owner to profit from maintaining the site. Many of these sites used to be a labor of love, but they are now commercial enterprises. That is fine for the hobbyist, but professional music business entities, including artists, labels, and affiliated music business web sites, should not have such advertising messages on the site except those that promote the products related to the purpose of the site.

Put Function before Form

Don't let all the bells and whistles take priority over the purpose of the site. The visual aspect of the site should support the site's function, not detract from it. In the music industry, it is common to find music samples on web sites, but visitors should be given the option to turn off the music if it is detracting from their mission or slowing down the process.2

Freedom From Choice Is What You Want

The rootkit hit the fan in July 2006 when Microsoft unleashed part deux of WGA, called WGA notifications. WGA notifications was a nifty bit of code that reminded everyone very much of a recent music company's malware. Making utterly sure that WGA notifications would be instantly loathed by humanity, Microsoft misled the world by tucking the program onto its servers and transmitting it across the wires in the company of security patches with the appellation of a critical update. (WGA had nothing to do with security.) Once installed, the WGA program revealed the following charming characteristics

Not using Viral Marketing

Advertising and search engine listing are important, but in the music business, the power of word of mouth (WOM) is overwhelming. Viral marketing achieves this. AllBusiness suggests the tell-a-friend option online and the use of branded T-shirts that your customers can wear for offline WOM marketing. The web site e-consultancy offers several reasons why viral marketing campaigns fail. Among them are the following

The Strange Case of Dr Open and Mr Proprietary

The Sony rootkit disaster is a perfect example of what happens when an industry stubbornly refuses to listen to its market and instead tries to sue it. The desire of people to mix and match music to meet their particular tastes tracks back to the 1950s and the development of the first record changers. By the late 1980s, as this book documents, technology had developed to the point where this customer need could be met (and very profitably). By the late 1990s, only a true pack of idiots would have missed the handwriting on the wall and not moved proactively, in concert with an or Napster, to meet the clearly inevitable future. By the millennium's end, you didn't need a crystal ball to see what was coming all you had to do was take some time out from sucking up to rock gods and snorting cocaine and go out and buy an MP3 player and download some jingles. Instead of suing Shawn Fanning, creator of Napster, one of the music companies should have had enough sense to buy out Napster...

New channel structures

Channel structure Channel structures describe the way a manufacturer or selling organisation delivers The configuration of products and services to its customers. The distribution channel will consist of one or more intermediaries such as wholesalers and retailers. For example, a music company is unlikely to distribute its CDs directly to retailers, but will use wholesalers which have a large warehouse of titles that are then distributed to individual branches according to

When Positions Collide

Sometimes the excitement, youth and energy makes these outsiders attractive to people trying to position themselves. In the 'swinging sixties', the then British prime minister, Harold Wilson, held parties at 10 Downing Street where he could be photographed alongside pop person all ties. Probably the saddest case of this pop positioning was Richard Nixon being photographed with Elvis as part of an anti-drugs campaign. Pop positioning was too good a trick for Britain's new Labour to miss. Soon after gaining power, Tony Blair was photographed with Oasis's Noel Gallagher at a 10 Downing Street pop party. It became one pop position too far at the 1998 Brit music industry awards. While the music industry was helping pop position new Labour, anarchist pop group Chmnbawamba exploited alienation positioning by pouring a bucket of water over John Prescott, deputy prime minister. It is dangerous when positions collide.

Napster Has Music Videos

The music business isn't just about music it's also about music videos. That's why Napster 2.0 offers a variety of music videos for free online viewing. Click the Music Video link at the bottom of the Napster home page to display the Music Videos page click the Play button under a video to play the clip in a separate window.

Good or Bad Competitors

With the iPod, Apple initially created a closed system with mass-appeal. In 2003, when the iPod was the only game in town, Apple cut deals with the four major music labels that locked up its device. The music companies wanted to sell songs on iTunes, but they were afraid of Internet piracy. So Apple promised to wrap their songs in its FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) technology the only copy-protection encryption that is compatible with iPods and iPhones. Other digital music services such as Yahoo Music Unlimited and Napster reached similar deals with the big music labels. When Apple refused to license FairPlay to them, those companies turned to Microsoft for DRM technology. But that meant that none of the songs sold by those services could be played on the wildly popular iPod and vice versa. The situation has been a disaster for Apple's competitors. Although some recording labels, notably EMI and Universal Music Group, are now foregoing DMR technology in an effort to weaken...

Radio promotion

The impact of radio airplay on record sales and artist popularity is still the most powerful singular force for breaking new artists. The reliance on radio to introduce new music to consumers causes record marketers to focus a lot of resources on obtaining airplay. This is done through the promotion department, where radio promotion people engage in personal selling to influence radio programming. Radio program directors make the key decisions on which music is played on the radio station and which is rejected. As a result, record labels and artists 1. A promoter who is affiliated with a record label, or an independent promoter hired by the label, calls the radio station music director (MD) or program director (PD) announcing an upcoming release. Radio music directors have specific call times. These are designated times of the week that they will take calls from record promoters. The call times vary by station and are subject to change. For example, an MD may have call times of...


Tour support is money or services that a record company provides to help promote an artist and ultimately sell more records. This is one aspect of marketing that is crucial for independent artists and those on indie labels. Generally, the marketing budget does not allow for retail product placement, radio airplay, or advertisements. So the indie artist must rely on touring to build a fan base and generate record sales. Tour support consists of contacting local media and retail in each market where the artist is to appear and providing any promotional materials and support necessary, including appearances. Aspects of tour support may be handled by publicists and the sales department of a label. The publicist is responsible for getting local media coverage and arranging for the artist to appear for interviews and impromptu performances on TV and radio. The sales department is responsible for setting up retail promotions and in-store appearances by the artist for autograph signings.

Video Case

Live Nation may not be a household name. But if you've been to a U.S. concert in the past few years, chances are you've purchased a Live Nation product. In fact, Live Nation has been America's largest concert promoter for many years, promoting as many as 29,000 events annually. But through very savvy strategic planning. Live Nation is shaking up the structure of the music industry. A recent 120 million deal with the pop-star Madonna illustrates how this concert promoter is diving into other businesses as well. Under this deal. Live Nation will become Madonna's record label, concert promoter, ticket vendor, and merchandise agent. Similar deals have been reached with other performers such as Jay-Z and U2.

Where to send It

The Music Industry News Network ( features articles and news of various independent artists and will accept submissions for news items. On the home page, click submit your news from the menu bar at the is a web site dedicated to press release distribution for independent musicians and record labels. The cost is 149 and includes distribution to all the major music publications and media outlets, including monthly music magazines, college radio stations, and weekly and daily newspapers in hundreds of markets. This would be a good idea for an artist who is ready to move to the next level and has a compelling news release that is likely to be picked up by these national and regional publications. Music Industry News Network


For artists, MySpace's setup is ideal for promoting music. Some of the features for artists include a built-in music player, user ratings, reviews, artist rankings, featured bands, show listings by location, and music videos. MySpace launched its own record label in 2005 with arrangements made for distribution through Universal Music Group. Through the online retailer SNOCAP, MySpace now offers all its independent artists the chance to sell downloads from their MySpace page.

Some Hot Tunes

In the meantime, while everyone was focusing on software, no one was paying any attention to the music business. There didn't seem to be any reason to do so. After all, we all knew how the music business basically worked. Every few years the youth of the world generated yet another raft of disaffected grungesters, cute girls, cute boys, some performers of indeterminate sex, ghetto rappers, hip-hop blasters, soul throbbers, chanteuses, lounge acts, and so on, and so on, all of whom were signed to contracts by large, institutionally corrupt music companies. These in turn distributed cash, girls (or boys), and cocaine (or the drug of choice) to the band while paying off music stations to play the songs of the performers under contract to the company. When the current crop of crooners aged and lost their appeal or overdosed, they were promptly replaced by a new generation of cute girls, cute boys, and so on, and the cycle continued. The music industry had known for years that public...

Melissa L Fisher

I graduated from Houghton College with a BS in business administration and a minor in music. I interned with the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce working on the I Love New York campaign, had a summer internship in Nashville to learn about the music industry, and filled in as the art director in the college's PR dept. I volunteered for the campus activity council and worked with a student chapter of the American Marketing Association.

The original Napster

Eventually as a result of legal action an injunction was issued on 5 March 2001 ordering Napster to cease trading of copyrighted material. Napster complied with this injunction, but tried to make a deal with the record companies to pay past copyright fees and to turn the service into a legal subscription service.

Rss feeds

The music business uses RSS feeds to keep fans informed of upcoming events or to provide updated content for fan-based web pages. This actually allows the feeder (the artist's web manager) to control content that appears on other web sites quickly and easily with one feed.