As an independent artist, although it has many difficulties, doing this can be among the most satisfying things ever. You have complete control over what occurs when your music is played. Nobody is interfering with where and when to post. You are entirely free to decide. You have the option to release your music, and you also have the option to request that it be taken down from retailers. No one else has any influence over the stores that carry your music. You select where it appears.

In difference to being a Signed Artist to a record label, this option indeed gives you less control over your music, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t the superior choice for many musicians. The decision is entirely up to you, depending on your needs and preferences. They can accelerate your growth far more quickly than working on your own. As an independent artist, you’ll have access to dos and don’ts that you wouldn’t otherwise. Learning from others who have been there multiple times before is fantastic.

Let’s examine in depth the difference, benefits and drawbacks of being a signed artist or an independent artist.

 

  1. Budget and resources

For signed artists, the mastering, distribution, and development of album artwork, marketing, merchandise, touring, music videos, and other costs can be supported by established record labels thanks to their financing and resources. The label will, however, determine the budget and resources available.

VS

For independent artists, It costs money to cover expenses like mastering, distribution, promotion, merchandise and touring. Many independent artists lack the tools and funding that a record label can offer.

 

  1. Connections and a network

For signed artists, signing with a label has several advantages, including access to their network. Significant opportunities may arise for you and your music as a result. Your network and ability to reach wider audiences may be restricted without a label. Larger fan bases will be found for established labels. Additionally, they might be connected to other members of the music industry, including booking agents, music venues, publishing houses, public relations firms, and PR firms.

VS

For independent artists,  just starting to have a small fanbase and professional network. Record labels, on the other hand, will have a larger fan following and relationships with key players in the music business, including promoters, booking agencies, the media, etc.

 

  1. Influence and standing

For signed artists, Numerous record labels, particularly large labels, have acquired ties and influence in the music business. They have a stronger chance of landing publishing and licensing agreements, performances at bigger venues and festivals, press attention, radio roles, and other opportunities.

VS

For independent artists, It’s hard to get started in the music industry. The music industry is complex, and learning every facet of it requires time and experience. There are many elements to manage, including shifting fashion trends, musical rules, and many more. The world is complicated! Learning what works and what doesn’t can also be a costly lesson.

 

  1. Music Promotions Strategy

For signed artists, your music sales will rise when you sign up with a record company that has a strong marketing plan, and you’ll gain access to new listeners and advance your musical career. Additionally, a label might promote music media, have a sizable email list, be active on social media, and more. A record label will also have previous music industry knowledge.

VS

For independent artists, the independent artist option takes time to pursue. Putting your music out on your own can seem like a full-time job. Setting up distribution, making all the release materials, coming up with a marketing plan, keeping track of sales, scheduling shows, and all the other tasks involved with releasing music take a lot of time. Additionally, all of this additional labour consumes crucial studio time.

Check out how to promote your music on a budget here: https://kevineze.com/how-to-promote-your-music-with-zero-budget/

 

  1. Creative authority

For signed artists, A record label gains authority over your song when you sign with them. Without your consent, the label may make arrangements and decisions involving your song. They also have total authority over everything, including messaging, artwork, marketing, and distribution. However, the contract’s provisions determine how much power you have over your music and brand.

VS

For independent artists, The direction of an independent artist’s music is entirely under their control. Additionally, they are in complete control of the distribution, marketing, artwork, messaging, and other factors. A self-employed artist also has the freedom to choose how to carry out their artistic idea. For many artists, it’s the ideal situation.\

 

  1. Formula for profit-sharing

For signed artists, Record labels receive a portion of the money made from music sales, streaming, licensing agreements, and other sources of income. Additionally, some labels use the royalties received from music purchases to cover costs such as mastering, promotional mailers, and other release-related fees.

VS

For independent artists, 100% of the money made from music sales, streaming, licensing partnerships, item sales, and other revenue sources goes to them.

 

  1. Copyright Ownership

For signed artists, When you sign a deal with a record label, the master rights to your music are theirs. Without your consent, they are allowed to negotiate publishing and music licensing agreements. They can retain more of the earnings from these transactions as a result.

VS

For independent artists, the master rights of an artist’s music belong to them. They are free to discuss publishing and music license agreements as well. They also won’t have to stress about signing over their music rights or dealing with confusing contracts or pricy attorneys.

 

Additionally:

Music services offered to Independent Musicians online: Independent musicians now have access to a wide range of music services and resources thanks to the digital age. Musicians can use services for streaming, marketing, distribution, creating goods, and other things. Additionally, musicians may easily reach new listeners thanks to the internet. They no longer need a recording agreement to distribute their music via streaming services, digital music stores, and music platforms.

Bad contract deals: Many record labels have agreements that are favorable to artists. However, it is well known that large record labels have contractual arrangements that offer the artist a smaller percentage of royalties. Additionally, if you sign with a label, you will have to deal with these intricate contracts and pricey layers.

 

So in summary, which is the better choice of both?

Here, you get to make the call choice. Both solutions have benefits and drawbacks. In the end, everything depends on how much assistance you need as a beginning artist. You will have complete ownership over your music and the rights to it if you decide to go it alone. However, some musicians do require the additional support and communication provided by a record company. Remember that while a record label may require a larger percentage of your earnings, you’re also more likely to discover work and prospects through them. It might even out.

Consider your contract options carefully if you’re thinking about being signed by a label. Is it a temporary situation to gauge your progress? In case you decide it’s not for you, that seems like the sensible course of action. You cannot back out of contracts, thus it is crucial to be certain. Take into account what they can offer you. After all, you are giving them your music and ability, which you are aware of. It’s crucial that the agreement not turn out to be one-sided.

However, they will relieve a lot of your artistic burden because you won’t have to worry about promoting and selling your music. You may instead devote more time to honing the sound itself. There is no disputing that being an independent artist may be difficult. Even yet, it can still present fantastic chances and a sense of accomplishment that is unmatched. If you persist, you’ll realize the advantages and understand why it’s so satisfying. Both this option and picking a record label are not suitable for everyone. Both have numerous advantages and disadvantages that are comparable. Give one a try, and if you decide it’s not for you, you’ll know the other is.

There will always be resources and assistance accessible, regardless of the option you select. Don’t believe that you must be affiliated with a label to receive any kind of support. Keep in mind that you alone are responsible for your accomplishment. There is a wealth of knowledge available to support your success. Spend some time figuring out what suits your music and brand the best. Best luck!

Leave a Reply