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Top Independent Record Label Services of 2020

Photograph of the blog post author, Jamie Ellis

Jamie Ellis

27.1.2020

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Top Independent Record Label Services of 2020

It’s no secret that musicians and artists today are choosing an independent approach to the music industry. However, taking on such a task involves wearing an awful lot of hats! Artists, musicians, managers and label owners have to do everything for themselves these days. That’s why the rise of independent record label services may be interesting to you!

With such large responsibility placed on the shoulders of one person, it can be very difficult to not only keep your head afloat, but to also spend time developing every area of your chosen career.

What Are Record Label Services?

record label neon street sign

Record label services, otherwise known as independent label services or simply label services is a great choice for artists who’d like to stay independent, but want all the benefits of being signed to a record label. It’s essentially the modern music industry’s alternative to the traditional record label deal. Label services usually include marketing, promotion, distribution, sync, sales, rights management and analytics. Obviously this depends on what kind of deal you go for, ranging from just a distribution deal to more digital music label services or full-blown label services.

You generally pay for the services you use instead of signing into a record label contract. With more and more artists fighting to stay independent, label services are an increasingly common choice.

Where Did Label Services Come From?

musician wearing hat in pink cloud of smoke

Being a modern-day artist is no simple task. There’s a multitude of things that must be in place in order for your artist career to succeed. Balancing such tasks without a strong team behind you can be nearly impossible! Not to mention the struggle of brand new artists that may lack the network to succeed. 

Such struggles have caused a rapid increase in record label service companies over the last decade. These companies are in place to help both start-up and established artists, providing everything they could possibly need to further their career. Therefore, keeping the artist and their careers as independent as possible. 

With such a drastic rise in label service companies, let’s take a look at some of the best currently on the market…

Ditto Plus

ditto logo

Overall Rating: 2 / 5

Most Interesting Service: ‘Label in a box’ provides all the legal paperwork needed to start a label

Best Suited: Beginner artists 

Price: £

Website: https://plus.dittomusic.com/how-it-works/

Ditto may be a well-known name to some of you. It’s up there with the likes of Tunecore and CD Baby for digital distribution. But, did you know that Ditto has now released ‘Ditto Plus’?

Ditto Plus is a label service designed to help up-and-coming artists/labels reach the next step in their career. 

Offering all of the usual Ditto services (digital distribution, sync placements, etc), Ditto Plus also provides playlist placements, release strategies, video monetisation and general account management. Artists also have access to the Ditto creative team for artwork and graphic design.

Admittedly, compared to other label service companies in this review, Ditto offers the least. However, partnered with Ditto’s ‘record label in a box’ package – A package designed to give ‘start-up’ label owners everything they need to start their own record label – This could become a powerful tool. 

Pricing information is scarce on the Ditto Plus website with only a small mention to Ditto taking a royalty share. 

My personal opinion – If you want to hit the big leagues, Ditto may not be the answer. 

Absolute

absolute record label services logo

Overall Rating: 3.5 / 5

Most Interesting Service: Detailed song registration across platforms for optimum potential

Best Suited: Established / larger artists

Price: Unknown 

Absolute, like other label services in this review, offer a range of services to indie labels and artists including digital and physical distribution, marketing, manufacturing and sync placements. The company also features a very impressive roster of household-name artists, authenticating their service to those of you interested in taking the next step. 

The attention to detail given by this company is outstanding. Absolute leave no stone unturned when it comes to song registration, royalty collection or anything else to that matter! This service won’t stop until everything is in place for your music to reach its highest potential. 

Horus Music 

horus music record label services logo

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

Most Interesting Service: Integrated and restrictable database for client and colleague

Best Suited: Established / larger artists

Price: £££

Horus Music label service promotes itself as being the helping hand for artists and labels heading towards the next big step. Its multitude of services allows both artists and label owners to easily control and manage their career moving forward. 

Horus offers a large connected network for you and your team. Sub-accounts allow the artist/label heads to restrict access to its users – Ideal for artists with an expanding roster of team members and staff. Artists can oversee every aspect of their career whilst team members only have access to what’s relevant for their role! 

This label service is also well connected to leading industry professionals; offering distribution to all major platforms, official artist Vevo accounts and a detailed range of marketing plans to boost your audience. 

It appears that artists and labels must apply to Horus Music in order to access the plentiful services available. Artist accounts are available from £20 a year, however, there is limited information available as to what this subscription includes. Unfortunately, most of the company services appear to be charged additionally – That being said, I have no doubt that the service provided will be top quality. 

Aloaded

aloaded record label services logo

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

Most Interesting Service: Administration teams to relieve workload

Best Suited: Established / larger artists

Price: Unknown 

Aloaded pride themselves on working closely with you, the customer; allowing you to focus on what really matters – the music! 

Alongside standard label services such as distribution and sync placements, Aloaded provide administration help to take those boring admin jobs off your to-do list. They will also handle the logistics of any manufacturing or negotiations needed to secure physical distribution placements in stores. 

The service also features an experienced team of creative consultants, ready to guide you through your next business venture. They’ll even give advice on your latest masters! 

Like most label services, Aloaded have a vast media team. Need help with your next music video, album artwork, website or maybe a complete rebrand? They have the team to help you achieve your goals.

Although pricing and other information regarding working with this company is limited from the website, Aloaded feel like a strong contender in the label service game. Having access to a team of people that will happily take admin tasks off your hands is no small thing! 

The Famous Company 

famous record label services logo

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5

Most Interesting Service: Studios and professional songwriters available in multiple locations

Best Suited: Established mid-range / larger artists

Price: ££

The Famous Company music service has been growing fast since its launch in 2014. Their label services, or music services as they call it, is incredibly well-rounded and covers almost all of your needs as an indie artist.

Avoiding any digital distribution, The Famous Company provides useful alternative services that other companies don’t. 

With studios scattered across the UK and US, Famous provides recording spaces to artists at an affordable yet professional rate. The company also has a detailed roster of professional musicians, songwriters and producers; all ready to work with artists on their latest material. Famous also promote in house videographers, graphic designers and photographers; alongside an experienced marketing team.

Additional label services include project management, data analytics and festival databases. 

It appears that artists must apply to work with this label service, therefore, The Famous Company may best suit those already established in the industry. That being said, no matter your current position, this label service is quickly becoming one of my favourites due to its vast collection of services – Some of which do not appear in other companies featured in this article. 

AWAL

awal record label services logo

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5

Most Interesting Service: A full record label service without the record label cons

Best Suited: Established mid-range / larger artists

Price: Unknown 

AWAL is becoming a well-known name in the indie industry. Designed to grow with you, the artist. 

This multi-tiered label service offers support for artists at three distinctive points in their career: Gaining momentum, Breaking through and going global. 

Unlike other label services that just provide the basic distribution and sync placements, AWAL work like a full record label. They provide the artist with funding, one to one artist support, management and more (depending on the level of your career). In return, they take a small percentage of your earnings. 

Contracts with AWAL are open, artists can leave at any time and you keep 100% of your rights. 

Sounds great right? What’s the catch I hear you say? Well, working with this label service is no easy task. Artists must either be recommended to the company through a trusted friend or must partake in AWAL’s detailed screening process to ensure you’re at the ‘next level’. Definitely a service for established artists that are gaining traction in the industry. But, an incredible service full of benefits nonetheless! 

Final Thoughts On The Best Label Services

two musicians playing guitar and singing

It’s hard to keep so many plates spinning in today’s industry. It’s even harder to find trustworthy people to help reduce the workload! From my research, it seems that any one of the companies listed would be more than up for the task.

|cta-link type=’artist-development’|

I personally love the business infrastructure that Horus Music creates for larger, established artists. Having one neat place to run your business from makes the world of difference to the workflow and the ability to restrict access to users’ accounts is a huge bonus to larger brands.

That being said, the vast array of services on offer from The Famous Company really allow artists to become a one-stop, independent machine with everything from studios to writers being kept in-house. An attractive thing to a lot of artists! 

Which label service you choose to partner with really boils down to your individual needs. I just hope it propels you and your career into the next level. Good luck! 

Included In Your Music Gateway Subscription

As a member of Music Gateway, you already have access to many of the services mentioned above. From Artist Development to Sync/Music Licensing and from Music Promotion to a global Marketplace that gives you access to graphic designers and others in the music industry to collaborate with. With more services being released as the company grows, Music Gateway is truly becoming a hub for everything you need in the music industry. Not a member yet? Try it for free today!

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