by Bryan Farrish
Back to The
There are two options for your independent music in the music business: You can
either try to be your own record label (and/or PR firm, music company,
entertainment agent, etc.), or you can partner with others who will do the work
for you if you pay them. Either way, you need to know who does what.
Record label, PR firm, music manager, music publishing company, entertainment
agency, music distribution firm, entertainment lawyer, music magazine, and most
any other entity in the music industry are all part of a "mass media" wheel that
generates airplay, publicity, gigs and record (CD) sales. All this is part of a
record deal (from a record label), or, it can be used to get a record deal.
Alternatively, you could decide just to keep as much of it in-house as possible,
thus creating your own operation. This is a realistic option if you will be in
the business for five or more years, and you are willing to work at least 30
hours a week at it.
A real record company handles four basic areas of
music marketing: Radio, PR (public relations), gigs, and music retail. The radio
portion is what this entire site is about; radio is the most complicated part of
the music industry, and the most expensive part of the budget of a major record
label. If you hire an independent radio promoter, they can also help a little
with PR, gigs and retail, provided the airplay campaign is large enough.
The PR (publicity) portion of the entertainment industry is obtained by
hiring a PR firm (or PR person). A large record label has these people on staff,
but will still hire out for more push. A smaller independent record label
sometimes will just try to do its own publicity, maybe by just focusing on some
local music magazines. Big mass media music magazines, however, will be beyond
what an independent music label can get.
The gig portion of your music
marketing is obtained by partnering with an entertainment agency who book gigs
for you (good gigs can get you some PR too.) Small music labels will just try to
book their own gigs. Note that an entertainment agency for gigs is not the same
as an entertainment agent that an actor would have.
For the retail part
of the music industry, a record company would hire a retail promoter, whereas a
small independent record label would just call stores on their own. Note that
this is NOT the same thing as music distribution, which is simply a middleman
between the record company and the music retail stores... they just take retail
orders once the retail promotion person causes the sales to happen. If you have
no retail promotions person, you will have no sales, regardless of the radio
that you do.
The entertainment industry has a few other entities you
will have to work with... like the music manager (i.e., personal manager) and
the entertainment lawyer. While they are not into music-marketing or mass-media
details the way a record label or radio promoter would be, they are needed with
things like music publishing and general operation once you are on the road (but
probably not before.)
As a final note, below are some miscellaneous
terms that some new artists seek info on, but which were already covered above:
Record label company
Music record company
Music industry contact
Music distribution company
Radio publicity system
Music industry information
Music industry PR company
The music industry
Music industry marketing company
Music industry statistics
Music industry publication
Music industry directory
Music industry management
Music industry magazine ct.
is an independent radio airplay promoter. He can be reached at 818-905-8038 or at radio-media.com
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