Being Independent versus Being Signed
More artists have chosen to go independent and deviate from the usual dream of being signed by a Major Label nowadays. In fact, they now make up nearly 40 percent of the global music industry. But what does it mean to become an independent musician and how much does it cost to become one?
Pros and Cons of Being Signed
Let’s face it. Being a signed artist means having enough resources to support everything that you need so you don’t need to be juggling multiple jobs at a time and you’ll have undivided attention. It also means having more connections and exposure, A&R Support and the means that you can think of to market and promote your music
Nothing is free as they say. Choosing to be signed means you’ll have limited control over your music and the Label can make decisions on what to do with it even without your approval. Fewer Profits - Labels will get a chunk of profits from concerts and other deals that will generate money. These and bad contract deals.
Pros and Cons of Being Independent
Choosing to go independent however means having full creative control of your music - From distribution to marketing, setting deadlines, and even how you want your music should be created. In other words, you’ll have 100% ownership and can keep 100% of all the profits.
Although it would be great to have full control over your career, being on your own can be pretty challenging too. Having limited budget and resources, time-consuming as you’ll have to pretty much do all or most of the work and having a limited network.
And what exactly would it take for you to become independent?
We all know that you need to have enough money to support your own career once you choose to become an independent artist. You need finances for rehearsal space, new instruments, wardrobe, to hire a publicist, videographer and the list can go on.
Marketing and Promotion are just two of the tasks that you need to do on your own. And these tasks are both time-consuming. You have to learn how to edit your videos too or create social media pages and websites so you can give your fans constant access to what’s going on with your career. You need something that will make you earn more fans while making sure that you keep your current fans. You need to educate yourself on the business while you sharpen your skills at making quality music. You need to do all these things mostly, on your own. Or you actually have a choice to hire people who can do the other tasks for you at a price. I mean if you have enough financial resources, it will be very easy. At least you’re only tied up to yourself and not to a label. So all decisions are yours. And you have 100% freedom on the way you want your craft to be created and presented.
Of course, you know who Chance the rapper is. He’s the epitome of a success that isn’t tied up to a label. His works were recognized as he won the Grammys and other awards and he still got his significant share of the market.