Starting A Record Label: Who We Are

This article is aims to clarify any and all confusion brought about by the last article, which itself was simply a general outline about the way one runs a record label.

Ultimate Guitar

Note: this series is a business-oriented approach. Other articles exist to take care of the musical aspect. Names may be changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

Well, there appears to have been some confusion in the last post about the record label that I've started. This article is aims to clarify any and all confusion brought about by the last article, which itself was simply a general outline about the way one runs a record label. If you have any questions about the general mode of operations, refer back to the first article.

The in-depth look at this organization starts with a look at the original idea. In our case, the idea originated in a business class, in a group whose goal was to come up with an original business proposition, and thereafter to draw up a business plan. The idea floated around to create a record company, niched in such a way as to reach previously unreached consumers; in other words, we believe that there is a latent market that remains untapped by any other record company (at least in our area). To that end, we decided to create a structure around the idea, to probe the market and find out if our idea is feasible on a large scale.

Our situation is enviable: we have access to a couple local bands, all of whom are friends with some, or all of those of us on the team. We also have ready access to a Pro Tools rig and have familiarity with many of the bars and restaurants in our area. In other words, we have all the equipment needed for physical recording readily available to us, as well as a deep and talented stock of already-established musicians. With these assets openly available to us, we have an easy way to determine if our idea could survive in the fractionated music industry.

With the idea set into context, it's important to take a look at the team behind the idea. In the minds of venture capitalists and serious investors, the business team that's working to implement the idea is the second most-important factor in deciding whether or not to fund a business, a fact that works to our advantage. Greg is a musician who used to be involved in some of the aforementioned bands. He's played in numerous locations around town and is personally acquainted with some of the owners. Jill doesn't have musical experience per se, but she is very intelligent and usually plays the devil's advocate role. If an idea has a flaw, she'll probably spot it. Hector is a graduate who's been involved in small business, so he has experience in some of the role multiplicity that plagues these sort of ventures. Lastly, what do I bring to the table? I've spent hundreds of hours researching music business so that I have an understanding of the costs and procedures involved, as well as a very concrete knowledge in regards to recording music.

So far we've got a rough business plan in place, and we've been having preliminary talks with an investor that we're connected with through a mutual friend. If the preliminary talks succeed, that should bring significant resources to bear on solving our entrepreneurial problem. Should our talks succeed, we'll be able to create an almost perfect replica of our vision, one that would be able to expand our small entity almost instantaneously into something more substantial. What this leads to in the meantime is an almost wait-and-see attitude among our team. We're not exactly sure what resources we'll have available to us, and hope to plan accordingly.

With our idea and business still at a preliminary stage, we're little more than a team and an idea, the nucleus of a business. We have our resources in place, and we're slowly beginning to mobilize them. We've talked to bands that have pre-existing music recorded, and they are more than willing to let us handle their music, now and in the future. What's needed now is action, which is going to happen this week. What are the plans? Well, We hope to be able to post our company website, in whatever form it is. On it we should be able to see our logo and hear clips of some of the songs that we have in the bank thus far. The goal is also to expand our roster of available bands by talking with some other local groups to see if they're willing to be a part of our team. Slowly progress.

Ben Histand is a fourth-year Business student with an interest in finding out how pop culture works, and has spent entirely too much time finding out how Marvin Gaye is the same as Led Zeppelin, and why Led Zeppelin sold a whole lot more albums.

Dotted Music 2010

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Could turn into something interesting. I wish you well on your endevor, and look forward to hearing the setbacks and positives.