In the past, we’ve talked about why you should and should not focus on only one label, but today we’re taking the opposite approach. It’s important to mention that when I say ‘FOCUS’, it doesn’t mean you can’t release elsewhere, but that you should give preference to staying with one label to enjoy the benefits of doing so.
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. Stick with a label and they will often help you out with costs and opportunities. The more you stay with a label, the more they will be willing to help you out in terms of costs (paying for vocals, remixes, extra marketing investment), and opportunities (hosting remix competitions, giving you opportunities to remix the main artists from the label, better royalty deals, etc.). For example, friends of mine who are signed to Enhanced have a really generous budget for an album they are making for the label, which would be unlikely if they hadn’t explicitly agreed to focus on Enhanced. In the label’s eye, the more you release with them, the more you’re helping them monetize their business and, therefore, the more they will be willing to help you back. This only happens though when the label understands, or when you tell them, that you’re focusing on them. Therefore, when you find a label you really like, consider committing to it so you can get the benefits from doing that.
2. If you’re releasing on your dream label, do the most you can to stay on it as well. Why would you want to get away from your dream label? Imagine you’ve signed to Armada and that’s your dream label… The more you stick to it, the more things from #1 will come true, and on your dream label. In addition to item #1’s benefits, the amount of realization that you’ll get from being able to successfully release on your dream label is going to make you feel excited about your music, which can translate to even better songs in the future since you’ll feel motivated to keep on releasing with them. At the same time, make sure to avoid the pressure that can come with this since you’ll always force yourself to deliver, which can halt your creativity. Therefore, when you’re able to achieve your dream label, do the most to stay in it so your realization and motivation with music stay high, something that is often underrated.
3. Stick with labels that are flexible and that help you develop your brand. When you commit to a label, it will be in their interest to maximize your release as much as possible, and that means that they can be more flexible when choosing a release date, a cover photo, or even letting you do your own cover photo, which is how Ben Böhmer is able to release at Anjunadeep with his own cover photos. Some labels act like this by default, but the bigger a label is, the more they will need you to commit for this to be possible. Therefore, when you find the right label for you, commit to them as a way to gain more flexibility with your release, which will help you develop a better brand identity, online presence and, therefore, develop yourself as an artist.
4. Even if you’re focusing on one label, you should still release elsewhere every now and then. Every once in a while, you should consider putting yourself in the market again and looking for another label other than the one you focus on so you could experiment and test if ‘your focused label’ gives you everything you can receive. Are they flexible enough? Do they bring in enough stats? Do they give you opportunities? What if your label stops releasing your genre? If you’re only releasing with one label, you may be missing out on what other labels are doing and also on opportunities to reach other markets as these labels will likely have different followers and subscribers that can end up following you. Therefore, not only as a test of your current label, but eventually releasing with other labels can also be important in expanding your reach and building backup options in case you want to move on.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
What are some problems with releasing on multiple labels all the time?
1. Not creating meaningful relationships with A&Rs since you’re always dealing with someone new. But, this could also be a good thing if you develop these multiple relationships outside of these releases;
2. You can end up being like an artist these labels work with regularly, but not enough to value you or give you opportunities, which could leave you on your own to make your own opportunities;
3. It can hurt your release schedule as you’ll always have to adapt to what the label is providing you and not build it along with the label. For example, I have friends that had 3 releases in one month due to releasing with three different labels, which is terrible for marketing.