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Getting Signed to Record Labels - How & What are the Alternatives

Photograph of the blog post author, Jon Skinner

Jon Skinner

11.10.2017

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Is getting signed to a Record Label the holy grail?

Well in a lot of cases, it’s a no. But hang on a second, because of course there are lots of benefits and reasons why you should want to take (the right) deal, and that depends on quite a lot of factors, which I will explore in this article.

Let’s start by asking ourselves, why?

Why would you want to get signed to a label and if so, what’s the best approach and what are the alternatives?

Signing on the dotted line means that you are either licensing your master rights (the ownership of the recording) or assigning your master rights legally to another party, company or person. There’s pros and cons to being signed, so here’s a handy checklist think about.

Do you truly believe your music and songs are good enough to be signed to a record label for commercial release

If it’s big, fat, astounding yes, then great, that’s a super start (I expected nothing less btw).

Do you have any fans, any online presence or traction (YouTube, Spotify, iTunes) with your releases to date?

Labels will want to know if you can attract fans that aren’t just your friends and family.

What type of Label should you be targeting?

It should be obvious, but do your research on where your music & style fits. Are you full on pop with tons of fans and potential for the major labels, or cool, hip underground hip hop and better suited for a niche label, which could be a stepping stone to a bigger, better label? I did an interview with Music Business Worldwide and their editor Tim Ingham, which talks about unsolicited approaches to A&R (Artist and Repertoire – people who sign and manage the label roster) you can read it here.

Do you need any legal advice?

No, until you get a potential deal on the table or interest from a label, save your money and remember, a Lawyer is there for support and to help negotiate the best deal for you. There are a number of reputable Lawyers in the market, but we know and work with Russells, who are very good indeed and highly recommended.

Pitching to Record Labels: What’s the Best Approach?

Motor Records

Yes, you can get online, hunt the A&R guys down, jump on the blower and start ringing round, but look, that’s just not going to cut it and whilst hustle can get you in the door, you could just be wasting your time.

For pop music, there are traditional routes to the A&R professionals at the labels and that’s through good artist management. So what’s the alternative?

We work directly with Record Labels and A&R professionals worldwide, (like Motor Records in Germany for example), as our platform allows the record labels to securely manage and receive demos from you through a trusted source. We save them bundles of time, as your demos are available at the click of a button. Time is their biggest issue, so just to get an A&R to listen to your music is the first barrier you need to overcome.

We help tick that box. Our demospace tools allow them to listen to your music, shortlist you and most importantly directly contact you to discuss any potential business or signing. We do NOT charge you or the labels a penny for this service. This is all about us helping our community connect to the people that matter the most.

Clearly, labels can be the lifeblood for your releases. They should invest and help commerical exploit (I know, I hate that word as well) your music so you both make money!

We have hundreds of Record Labels, Publishers and Management that you can submit your demos to from inside our platform, you simply sign up to get rockin’ & rolling.

What if I’m not ready to send demos to Record Labels?

So, what are the alternatives to getting signed?

Well, that’s where our platform can further your career, improve your productions and recordings and of course, your songs and music.

So to start with, what are the key things that help you get signed to a label?

– High quality production, professionally mixed and recorded

– Great music and songs

– Traction – fans, streams and a good social media profile

The best people in the business, collaborate! It’s as simple as that.

It’s all about working with other people that are both, like-minded musically and compliment your own skills. There’s a killer article on the power of collaboration and benefits of co-writing on an international, global playing field within our blog.

Through our marketplace, you can access and approach a whole host of professionals. Our global community is about you being matched to others that dig where you are coming from. Read about the benefits here.

If you want to further your career and get yourself in good company then it’s all about connecting to other professionals and aspiring professionals worldwide through our platform. Simply get yourself registered and join our global community of more than 40,000+ and you are rockin’ and rolling.

Sync Licensing: Getting signed off the back of a TV, Film, Advert or Game placement

Getting a sync placement (licensing your music to TV, Film, Games and Adverts) is a sure fire way to achieve huge exposure for your music, but it can also be the catalyst for getting you signed. Here’s some details that explains how our sync licensing works and what are the key ways you can benefit.

Regardless of whether you have a record label or publisher, you can still benefit from our Sync Agency representation. To get started, you simply join our platform and go to our sync portal to get access.

Wanna submit your demos now?

There’s hundreds of Record Labels, Music Publishers and companies that you can submit your demos too through our platform for free.

Music Gateway isn’t just about helping you get signed, it’s much bigger and better than that, check out our features and how you can benefit from our website or to dive in, get signed up here.

I hope you enjoyed this article and advice, we love hearing your feedback, so do get in touch or share this around if you think others would enjoy reading.

Thanks Jon & The MG Team.



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