Starting Your Own Indie Label (Part 1): Releasing Your Own Album

If you’ve been sending out demos upon demos in an attempt to be signed to a label but you haven’t found success, take heart. The digital era has created a time when many independent artists have the luxury of creating their own label, often for the purpose of music_distributionreleasing their music. This post is part one of two about starting your own label.

If you’re attempting to self-release your music, consider the following factors:

1. Plan: First and foremost, make sure you have a plan. No matter if you’re simply releasing your own music or planning to start a larger operation, take the time to figure out how you and your label will earn money and spend money. Make a plan for sustainability or you will quickly fold.

2. Cost: Creating and running a label will involve some costs. You’ll have to shell out cash for studio time, manufacturing (if you’re getting physical copies pressed), marketing and promotion; all of which are incredibly important factors in getting your music heard.

3. Distribution: If you’re getting physical copies printed, you’ll want stores to sell them on your behalf, requiring some form of distribution deal. A good distributor works hard to get your album into the right stores, on the best shelves. Are you able to forge a partnership with a distributor? Or do you plan to release a digital only album?

4. Marketing/PR/Promotion: Labels of various sizes have contacts in the press and at radio stations that will help get the word out about their new releases. Often, outside PR companies are hired for additional help. Do you have the budget for this? Or will you go all DIY?

When taking all of these factors into consideration, you might realize it’s less costly to release your work digitally only (on a website like or and to handle the marketing and PR on your own. If this is the case, do your homework and prepare yourself by planning your release far in advance so that you can make the most of it.

Tell us what you think! Have you released an album on your own label? What did you learn throughout the process?

Up next: Crowdfunding for musicians.

The SongCast Crew

Comment List

  • singer songwriter rap artist from Spartanburg Sc has his own cds and vidoes.I willie miller sole author songwriter tyring to get his big break.I have my own poerty books as well. I write my own songs and arrange them as well.Its my goals to get my own record label started and get record deals-Movie deals.

  • James h gaddis 14 / 03 / 2012 Reply

    Exposure is the best remedy for success in the Music Industry. It does not matter how good your music is. If people don’t hear it its not going anywhere. This is why there is pay o la. People will illegally pay to have their music heard or pay to keep competition from being heard., Everything I write either goes top ten or top forty. My work is know by other artist. I am endeavoring to go out on my own. I already have an established market. My sitition is control. People want to control without compensation. To substantiate my allegations this is why the X FACTOR, THE VOICE, AND OTHERS ARE PARAMOUNT. WITH THE RIGHT COACHING AND ‘EXPOSURE” REGARDLESS OF YOUR AGE PEOPLE WILL BUY YOUR MUSIC. PEOPLE ARE IN THE INDUSTRY TO MAKE MONEY. TRY 50 MILLION DOLLARS. I AM LOOKING FOR TAKERS AND BACKERS. HOLLA BACK. I AM AS GOOD OR BETTER AS ANYONE ON THE MARKET OR IN THE INDUSTRY.

  • Frijid Pink 14 / 03 / 2012 Reply

    When is part 2 due out?

  • Corey Jones 17 / 03 / 2012 Reply

    Most labels like to see an artist sell over 100,000,000 CD’s or have achieved gold album sells in the past before showing interest. Social media has become a game changer as well and allows an A&R to see who your target market and audience is before ever contacting you. This allows them to decide if your band or group is in alignment with current business and organization goals in the industry. (CJ)

  • indie label 15 / 04 / 2012 Reply

    That’s a number of motivational products. Never knew which thoughts could possibly be this kind of diverse. Appreciate your all the eagerness to make available this sort of information below.

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