In this game, as a start up, newbie, or not even so newbie anymore maybe now : Nobody talks about money! It’s fucking stupid and insane to us. Maybe it’s a culturally ingrained to not ask about money or deemed rude. We know mates who run labels, and for us, so far, its a totally unspoken subject. We have spent the last six months [and the rest really – sorry!] taking ages to report sales figures back to artists that we have released, which is frankly pretty shit.
We don’t expect everyone to share their weekly financials, but it seems to be the ghost topic.
Today we actually have, so it’s a load off our minds and we can now move forward and resume to report regularly and when necessary. It wasn’t the best reading to be fair, as for the most part there was no payout mainly due to not turning a profit on the production of vinyl. Thats’s another, loveable, but old fashioned stigma around running a label.
We know people say, or firstly, aren’t in it for the money. However, there is money involved so everyone needs to know what’s up and if there’s a share to be had then it needs to be delivered.
On reflection we know some of our artists have had releases on other labels and they haven’t been contacted with any sales figures even if they had a contract or not : Ghosted! We’re not saying there’s a whole load of shady shit gong on out there. There probably is in some parts, but if you are a newcomer to running a label or an artist working with a label of any size it can be daunting, fantastical and scary all at the same time and could leave you feeling a bit shit.
You might have just made the best music of your life so far and, in part, feel left in the dark as a result!
There is an upside, and as a more re occurring case, a release of your music will return in gig fees, granted. So that is the upside. Negotiating DJ fees is a whole other topic tho,haha!
Especially when it comes to vinyl, if your funding it all yourself, you’d be hard pushed to get a limited run of 300 white labels for much less than £1000. It’s a lot of money to pay out and a lot of money to make back, which also can take months to get back even when you break even. When you do, it’s very rewarding, when you don’t, it gets you by the bollocks a bit.
We actually have had a few people over the last year or so approach and ask us how it all works and that was part of the inspiration to discuss it.
If self funded you need money,mastering,distribution,some sort of marketing/press plan and someone to sell it to ; a following/customers.
So if you were ever wondering about this, hopefully here are some of you answers which people might not be so willing to help you with.