Every band dreams of that moment when they can sign on the dotted line and have a label produce their CD. Musicians want fame, fortune, money, touring and everything else that looks good about the music business. With everyone trying to do their own independent thing these days, it’s no wonder why people have questions about major labels. Every artist is difference and every band is looking for something different. We have a list of pros and cons of going with a major record deal.
Money talks and major labels have a lot of money to dump into a project. This is where you have a huge advantage over an indie label. This also means that they will be able to offer you a large amount of money up front and endless possibilities for music videos, touring and recording.
Major labels also have a lot of connections. They can get your music to the right people. They can place your music on the top hit radio stations. They have endless distribution connections to push your music everywhere and anywhere they want. This means great exposure for that album you worked so hard on. Without distribution, you can have the best CD in the world, but it won’t get anywhere if it doesn’t get in the right hands.
Major labels are behind the vast majority of music sold, and this scale of operations can bring many advantages. First, they can get the best deals on manufacturing, advertising and other expenses since they do business in such enormous bulk.
Now, that all being said, there is a down side to all of the above. A lot of major labels tend to sign a lot of musicians and throw out a lot of music, just to see what will stick. As a new signing, except in very special circumstances, you’re likely to find yourself fighting for attention from the label. If you’re music doesn’t start sticking then you can find yourself with a record out that isn’t getting much promotion and a label that doesn’t return your phone calls.
Many major labels want to sign artist for multi album deals that offer them very little flexibility and that hand over a lot of creative control to the label. They know all of the loopholes, they want a piece of everything, and they have better lawyers than you. Not everyone who works at major labels love music. You’ll find a higher concentration of people who are in the business strictly for the money in major labels than you will at indie labels, and that often ends up rubbing musicians the wrong way.
Like we mentioned before, it is really all a matter of what you are looking for as a band. Just remember, once you sign a contract, it’s very hard to get out of one. Do your homework, read over everything, hire a lawyer and truly listen to your head on this one.