Number 1: MONEH!!!
You'll need some, probably a few grand should cover it. If you're going after a loan from a bank, you'll need to make yourself up a business plan (these things are a fucking pain but they do prepare you). You'll have to make a detailed cash flow forecast for the first year, and an overview for at least 2 years after that. The bank manager has to know exactly what money you have coming in, and what money you'll be spending, and where. You'll also need to write a "competition analysis", and your expected target audience etc etc etc... boring shit. Your local bank should have a business adviser on standby to help you build a business plan. Or you can check www.businesslink.org. BUT if you're saving the money yourself you can ignore all that shit, but it's still worth thinking about.
If you're releasing your own stuff, this wont be too much of an issue. But if you're planning on getting some other artists on board, you'll need to make some decisions. You can license the copyright of a recording, for a limited time or for a specific territory. This is better for a small label because it's usually cheaper and allows you to build up a catalogue quicker. The other option is to go the "exclusive recording agreement" route... where you basically own the artists ass. (very uncommon in dnb).
Number 3: Manufacturing!
Always deal directly with the manufacturer! avoid middle men like the plague! It's best to pay the manufacturer up front cos you'll usually get a better deal. You'll need to think about packaging.. which should probably be kept simple to keep costs down initially. The packaging MUST MUST MUST!!! carry the correct copyright notices!!! CANNOT STRESS THAT ENOUGH!olice: It might also be your responsibility to get a unique barcode for your releases, if this becomes necessary (again, not often in dnb).
Number 4: The Dreaded Copyright!
There's 2 seperate copyrights for each song out there, the copyright of the actual songs themselves, and the copyright of any particular recording of them. If you're NOT the copyright owner of a song you release, you must register with the MCPS (mechanical copyright protection society), they are the body that make sure the royalties get into the copyright holders pockets (and some into their own). As a new label, you'll probably be charged up front for this, regardless if you sell your entire stock or not (ie if you press 2000 records, the MCPS collects royalties for 2000 records, even if you only go on to sell 3)
Number 5: Distribution!
The hardest bit! Watch out for dodgy distributors, there's some proper cunts out there! some distributors will demand a "free box of each product", and shit like that. SO make sure you read the small print (or even better, hire a solicitor to read it for you). On average your distributor will want 28% of whatever it sells for you, so take that into account when doing your sums. Another thing to look out for, is distributors "destroying stock" that doesnt shift quickly enough (cunts!), you'd be surprised how often that happens, so make sure it's in your contract that they must get your consent before they destroy anything of yours.
Number 6: Out There!
Dont forget your promos, if you make sure they are clearly marked "for promotional purposes only", then the MCPS wont charge any royalties on it. Somehow the dnb scene manages to get away without doing this, god knows how! Before your release hits the shops, you'll need to make a sales sheet. Basically it's a summary of the release, no longer then 1 side of A4. It should include artists, title, cat number, price, release date, contact details, and artwork if applicable. If you've ever bought a particularly hot promo, you might have gotten one of these (i got one from valve recordings once), although its a rare occasion.
hmmm that'll do for now, i was gonna go into the whole marketing / promotion side of things but im sure ive put you off enough already
Bootlegs slightly different. Basically the guy who wrote the bootleg will fund the pressing himself, and then go on a trip around London town trying to offload all his vinyl into the shops. More often then not, he'll end up with a few hundred vinyls sitting at home in his bedroom
The record stores will usually take them on a Sale or Return basis. ie, you give them 20 copies, then come back in a month, they give you 5 copies back which they didnt sell, and you demand a cut for 15. (if they dont have that kinda cash at the time, you can usually take it home in vinyl )
Someone i know did a bootleg once, and ended up with 500 copies which he couldnt shift. But then he got a phone call from a "distribution company", who said they'd take the whole lot on sale or return (no money up front). So in a couple of months he gave them a call to cash in, and they turned around and told him that they'd gone bust a few weeks ago, and there was no money
Originally posted by Affliction Someone i know did a bootleg once, and ended up with 500 copies which he couldnt shift. But then he got a phone call from a "distribution company", who said they'd take the whole lot on sale or return (no money up front). So in a couple of months he gave them a call to cash in, and they turned around and told him that they'd gone bust a few weeks ago, and there was no money
This happened to the label I record for. We weren't doing bootlegs but we had a contract for a P&D deal and the distributor said they wouldn't put out any more singles even though we were contracted for 4 more! Their reasoning was that they were having money problems. Plus we didn't see ANY sales figures (they wouldn't give them to us) and obviously no money. It's difficult to follow up on this cause they're from the UK and we're based in the US. Go local if you can cause then you can show up with a bat if need be.
I'm looking to do the same. Based out of the US however.....A lot of the information I have found is for the UK. The most helpful article was at this website: computermusic.co.uk the name of the article is "On the Record: Running your own record label." Let me know how your search for info goes. email@example.com