Artist Management & Record Labels
Historically the role of a record label was to produce and sell records for an artist. However, in recent years, many labels have become an all-encompassing entity which covers every aspect of the production, from artist development and promotion to marketing and publicity, all you have to do is focus on the music. However, there is a catch. You have to create the music the way they want you to. Large teams in A&R, publishing and licensing, legal teams, sales, art, and graphic design, guide every aspect of the process from beginning to the end of the production line. This full-scale service comes at a price, major labels taking large percentages of sales profits, merchandise, royalties, and even merch.
Indie labels may be artist-friendly and are known for creating more equitable deals, offering more control and liberty to the artist. Despite this, as funding may not be as large, artists may feel they suffer at the hands of the indie labels, missing out on more robust opportunities.
The essential question in choosing between a major and indie label is based upon what the desired outcome and how much say the artist wants over their career.