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Do You Need a Label to Release Music?

There are a lot of misconceptions floating around nowadays. It doesn’t matter what industry or field you’re in, there is so much information available, that some of it isn’t 100% accurate. This makes it crucial to vet your information properly and make sure that you’re getting facts. The music industry is no stranger to myth, misconception, and illusion. While there’s no doubt that it is difficult to make it big as a musician, it isn’t nearly as hard as it was when the only options that existed were the radio or live concerts nearby.

Nowadays, with the internet, smart technology, and streaming services, it is much easier to reach an audience as an artist, no matter what your medium or genre.

There are a wide variety of musicians who have made their claim to fame through streaming and content creation platforms like YouTube. In fact, YouTube was one of the first social medias that allowed new-aged musicians and content creators to gain traction and fame. Even people like Justin Bieber who went on to sign major record deals got their start posting YouTube videos.

So, what does it look like to release music in the modern day, and do you need a label to do so? Take a look below to find out.

To put it Plainly: No

Honestly, no. You don’t need a label to release music. In fact, if you wait for a label to sign you, you probably won’t ever release any original music whatsoever. Especially not in today’s day and age. Even in the past, bands and musicians never waited to be signed by a label to put out new music.

Instead, musicians who want to make their career out of their craft have to be continually working on and releasing new music. This is the only way to actually be noticed by a label and eventually get signed. However, one major thing that’s changed is how large of an audience a musician can reach without getting signed.

Again, this is thanks to popular technology that allows music streaming on-demand and social media technologies that make it extremely easy for musicians and artists to connect directly with their fans on a personal level.

Self-Uploads

So if you can’t start with a label, then how does an independent artist get started with their first few music releases? Well the secret is in the self-upload for that one. Self-uploading is the process through which an artist can create an independent artist profile on a popular streaming service. This is an important step because artist profiles often come with a different variety of tools, functions, and features than simple user-listener profiles do. Once the artist profile is created properly, you can begin self-uploading tracks and albums and make them publicly available.

With the massive amount of traffic that streaming platforms like Spotify get on a monthly basis, this is a great way for artists to connect with potential fans and build a listener base.

Submitting to Popular Playlists

After getting your artist profile up and running, you may want to actually get your music on popular playlists. On top of that, you may want to get paid for listens, streams, and sales that your music sees. This is a two-part-submittal process.

First, you’re going to need to submit your music to the actual streaming platform, like Spotify, for review. Once reviewed and approved, you’ll be able to sell and promote your music more effectively on the platform. Then, you’ll also be able to win feature promotions in search bars, discover pages, and Spotify curated playlists. On top of that, you can always pitch your music to the owners and curators of individual playlists to get your tracks added elsewhere and expand exposure even further.

Self-Starting in 2022

Self-starting is very popular as we enter the last quarter of 2022. Entrepreneurship, self-starting, freelancing, and pursuing artistry as a career started becoming more and more popular over the past decade or so. Then, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, even more people decided to pursue their passion. For many, this meant betting on themselves as an artist.

Luckily, with so many tools and technologies available, it’s much easier to create and release art no matter the medium. If you’re looking to start your music career, now is as good a time as ever. You can also make use of a music distribution service that will help you release your own music on a regular basis.

The nice thing about a music distribution service, if you pick the right package, is that it allows you to retain all rights and royalties to your artwork, while also compensating you for listens and streams.

Signing is Still an Option

It’s also important to realize that signing is still an option even while you’re releasing music on your own terms. This was mentioned earlier as well.

Musicians often aren’t signed to a label or record deal of any sort until they’ve managed to put out their own original music for a consistent period of time. Not only that, but gaining an independent fan base helps a lot too.

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