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iMusician Show 03: What's Happening in the Vinyl Industry & How to Start a Record Label

  • 22 February 2022, Tuesday
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The iMusician Show is a bi-weekly breakdown of the latest music industry news, updates on iMusician's products and services, and everything that is relevant for independent artists & labels. Presented by iMusician team members, the iMusician Show is here to help you navigate the music industry and succeed as a musician.

Video Transcription

Hello and welcome to the iMusician YouTube channel. I'm Nick and I'm here with my colleague Sue and we're here to break down the latest news in the music industry and the latest content we have coming to you from iMusician. In this video today, we are going to talk about a few issues and delays that we've been seeing in the vinyl industry lately, we're also going to talk about where that is actually coming from, and then we are going to give you a short introduction to one of our latest guides that we just released online. In that guide, we give you 12 steps and tips on how you as an independent artist can start your own indie record label.

If you like this video, feel free to give it a thumbs up and also subscribe to this channel because we are gonna upload videos like this one regularly and all the videos are gonna cover topics that are super relevant for independent artists like you.

Vinyl Industry

So let's talk about the vinyl industry, there are some unusual things happening right now that might not make sense at first glance.

In 2021, recorded music revenue grew by almost a third compared to 2020. Of course most of that streaming revenue came from services like Spotify and Apple Music but when you look at vinyl sales, according to the RIAA they almost doubled this year, so what is the problem?

People are buying vinyl, labels and artists should be happy right? Well it's not that simple. According to The Guardian, vinyl pressing plants are struggling to meet demand and major record labels are attempting to jump the queue. A couple of decades ago you could press a record in a matter of weeks, today it's taking around 6 to 12 months. To dive a little deeper into this issue we talked to Mirko Glaser who runs the German independent record label Uncle M Music. In our interview we talked about the increase in vinyl sales and the higher competition for the few slots that are available. Obviously with the lack of raw materials there are supply chain issues that a lot of pressing plants are running into these days. Pre-sales are now almost impossible with these delays, as what type of music fan would want to buy a pre-sale album almost a year in advance. Many bands are already responding to the current crisis by releasing albums digitally as opposed to physically months in advance. If you want to dive deeper into this topic, check out our full interview with Mirko via the link in the description below.

How to start a record label

And then we wanted to talk to you about our new label guide.

Today, it's easier than it has ever been in the past to record and master and distribute your own music as an independent artist. Indie artists hold way more control over their career these days, and indie labels are changing their role in the music industry. If you start your own record label, chances are that especially in the beginning you're going to be involved in every single step of the way when it comes to releasing music for your artists. We'll take you through all the steps you need to take to start your own record label, from how to come up with your own release and promotion strategy, to understanding all the tasks that come with being a label manager. We also give you some advice on how to draft contracts for your artists and bands, and we'll give you some tips on which collection societies you should sign up for. In the DIY music industry we actually see more and more artists exploring that opportunity and that possibility. Of course there is more competition but there's also way more diversity in the indie music industry today. Again if you are interested and want to know more about how to start your own record label, I really recommend you check out our label guide. As usual the link is in the description below.

Adi Kum, Baby Satan Records

So it's easy to see that making a living from a record label is not easy, you have to hustle and do a little bit of everything, and to give you a great example of how to find success as a record label, we're shining the spotlight on female-led berlin-based independent record label Baby Satan Records.

Last year we had the chance to catch up with label founder Adi Kum. Adi is a musician, concert promoter, and co-founder of the label dedicated to putting power back in the hands of artists. In the interview, Adi told us how she got started with the record label, which was basically a coincidence as she put a fake record label name on one of her first releases as an independent musician. Shortly after, people started asking about the fake label name that she put on her record and the whole label actually became a real thing. Baby Satan has worked with 11 artists and published 19 releases. In the interview, Adi tells us about obstacles they encountered, and how they handled the whole endeavor financially. We also touched on how you should reach out to a record label, as well as adi's 10 tips for people interested in starting their own record label. So yeah, be sure to check out that interview via the link in the description.

By the way, if you are an iMusician artist, or you are running your own record label, then you can pitch your new releases to our iMusician playlist curation team and you’ll have a chance to get added to one of those playlists. It's really super super simple, just click the link in the description below, fill in the form, send off your release, and you are ready to go.

Thanks for watching this video today. Be sure to stay tuned because we're going to upload the next video in two weeks from now and in our upcoming videos we're talking about music promotion, music marketing, how to upload your music to Spotify, Spotify Ads, all sorts of topics that are relevant for you as an indie artist. We hope you have a wonderful day and we’ll see you in two weeks.

Boom! I have to stop because otherwise I would have fainted this, one take.

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