Record labels can be an essential part of a musicians career. However, the world has shifted and most independent artist’s have the ability to now do well on their own without really relying on a record deal and the like.
This then leaves the question, Can an artist release music without a record label?
Musicians and artists can operate without any heavy reliance on a record label due to the fact that self publishing and distribution is now possible. Therefore an artist can release music even without being signed to a record label.
Why Artist’s No Longer Require Labels
Now that you understand that independent musicians don’t necessarily need a record label for them to successfully distribute their music. Let’s look in the reasons why.
Self publishing is possible
The Internet age has revolutionised the way business is done. New technology is now more than ever at the fore front of the digital market place.
In relation to music, a lot of avenues have now become available for musicians of any scale to successfully manage to do most of the work that used to be delegated to record labels back in the day.
With services such as digital distribution you don’t really need much in terms of requirements for them to be able to successfully distribute your digital album.
This is a point that has to be made in relation to how the Internet has made digital music a commodity of equal value as physical music on CDs and Vinyl.
With digital music making its way to front lines as a public good ready to be consumed we can then see that even the in which it can be distributed is digitally.
With Music having the ability to be distributed digitally, it is definitely simpler to do so as independent artists and this is one of the reasons why record labels cannot be a huge part of an artist’s plan if distribution is their only issue.
Distribution is at your finger tips
Distribution platforms like Spotify and Apple Music can be easily accessed and an artist can have their music on these platforms.
The fact that distribution can be handled by the act of a few clicks here and there has made working with record labels almost obsolete.
Advantages of Self-releasing music
One of the advantages of being able to distribute your own music is that you get to have control over all your releases. You don’t have to worry about your music being distributed through a chain of 3rd parties who you don’t really know or trust.
Artist’s signed to labels have to leave almost everything to do with distribution to the label. This means the label handles everything on their behalf.
If the label can’t be trusted, the artist can easily lose out because the label can demand huge amounts of money for carrying out distribution.
Releasing and working with distributors yourself, shields you from any hidden costs that you may run into for lack of knowledge if you decide to engage a third party like a record label.
This is not to say labels can’t be trusted, it is simply to say handling distribution yourself exposes you to the business side of the industry. That experience gained can help your career if you decide to work with a label in the future.
Distribution when working with a label can be quite expensive for the fact that they delegate their own funds to handle all distribution things.
They then request you to pay their invest through the sales of the records they helped distribute. To avoid such costs, releasing and distributing the music yourself can be an easy way to do.
You can keep an account of how much you spend on distribution such as packaging, marketing, promotion and so forth.
Knowing how much goes into actual distribution can help you plan better and approach your next projects with more caution when it comes to how you distribute them.
Profits are all yours
Another advantage of distributing music yourself is that you can enjoy most if not all your profits because you can use distribution services that don’t charge you a lot for distribution.
For example, you won’t spend a lot of money using services like Tunecore or DistroKid despite the fact that they can ensure that your music make it to your specified digital platforms on time.
Distribution schedule control
Being able to distribute your own music also grants you the ability to distribute your music according to your schedule.
you don’t have to work on somebody’s clock or anything like that.
A plan can be developed by scheduling your releases for a reason.