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You Don't Need a Label!

Updated: Apr 1, 2023

Hey, It's Spencer the owner of Spencer Studios a recording studio in Lancaster Pennsylvania. Today we're going to talk about recording labels.

The days of shelling out major cash to book time with a million-dollar

record label owned studio to make your hits are over. Advancements in

technology means processing work in the box and not on massive control

panels. In today's world with platforms like YouTube, Spotify, and other

social media, a hit can be released anytime, anywhere, from anyone.

Recording studios fall into three categories label owned, label-affiliated,

and independent. Label owned means a record label owns and operates every

aspect of a studio from the space and equipment to employing the engineers.

Label-affiliated can mean a variety of things but generally it is as simple

as an independent studio that has some sort of ties to a specific label or

multiple labels. As an example, if you chose to work with a label-affiliated

studio and the engineer likes your work he may reach out to their affiliated

label(s) on your behalf. Lastly most studios today are fully independent

because while a label can have some advantages it is no longer a necessary

component to the music industry.

"Why should it matter to you as the artist" you may wonder. Decades ago,

music production equipment was very expensive and only large corporations

called record labels, could afford them. To record your music, you had to

either pay an enormous out of pocket expensive and find one of the rare

independent studios of the day, or you had to get signed with a record

label. Today this is not the case. There are now more independent studios

than ever before, out numbering label owned and label affiliated studios by

high margins. Which route you chose will change your potential route to


Monetary success today in the industry contrary to popular belief, has more

to do with touring and live shows than streams on streaming platforms. We

don't sell CDs for $25 a piece anymore. To make real money you must give

live shows and have fans to pay to attend your concerts. The creation of

fans is where a label, streaming services, and advertising come into play.

If you are an independent artist, you can certainly elect to record at an

independent studio, do advertising and gig scheduling yourself or even hire

your own manager and people to do these things for you. Many artists have

been successful in this route choice and in this case, you retain full

rights to your music and monetary assets. As an alternative you could take a

less involved approach and aim to become signed by a record label. In this

case they will take care of advertising, production, and anything else you

need but at the cost of a portion of your profits and potential rights to

your music. The twist in this scenario is to become signed many labels

request a demo before offering you an audition. You may have to start at an

independent studio either way just to gain the attention of a label. As a

talented artist you essentially have the classic choice of, do I do it

myself or do I pay someone else to do it.

If you want to know more consider scheduling a free session with us,

Spencer Miles Spencer Studios 313 W Liberty St, Lancaster, PA 17603


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