A Record Label will scour the world looking for potential in artists and releases to be release to the public (see our previous blog ‘The Role of a Record Label’). They can do this in person through their A&R departments or over the internet. They make records, mostly in the form of CD’s and digital downloads these days. Their other income sources come from merchandise, tours and sync opportunities in TV and Film. A label can have dozens or even hundreds of artists on their books.
What is Involved?
The process involves an artist signing an agreement for a number of albums to be released through the record label. The label will then allocate the artist an amount of time in the recording studio to produce a quality recording. The artists will usually work with a producer and sound engineer during this process.
Once the recording is complete the finished recording will be mastered before it is ready for distribution. Some record labels have their own distribution mechanisms whereas others may outsource the material to independent distribution companies.
A record label typically forms part of a larger record company and there are may different departments involved. Just some of these different departments that form a Record Company include:
- Admin and Accounts,
- Licensing and Synchronisation,
- International Departments,
- and many more.
How Do They Work Within the Industry?
The industry is built up of hundreds and hundreds of major and independent record labels. The four majors are Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI and the rest making up the community of Independents. Major labels have more money behind them but independents allow the artists to retain more creative control.