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6 reasons why Artists hate indie record labels!

artists often turn to indie labels as an alternative to major labels, seeking professionalism, artist services, and a small, focused team without the major label system. However, indie record labels frequently suffer from a lack of quality, capital, and professionalism. This reality pushes artists to prefer doing everything themselves.

Let's explore some hard truths that indie labels must address to become successful.

Not Enough Experience

Many new record labels lack the necessary experience. While the constantly changing music industry allows newcomers a chance, it's crucial for both artists and labels to gain experience first. Artists should build their fanbases, and label owners should learn from mentors or intern at larger indie or major labels.

Not Enough Capital

Most indie labels struggle with insufficient capital and, even when they have funds, often mismanage them. This inefficiency can cause the label to tank. Labels need cash more than financing to fund their operations. DIY artists can manage better with budgeting and taking small steps.

No Plan

Having no plan is worse than lacking money or experience. Without a roadmap, signing an artist is dangerous. It can drain the artist's energy and time, leading to operational chaos. A solid plan is essential to navigate the complexities of running a label.

Horrible Contract Terms

Insecure new indie labels often offer restrictive contracts to protect their investments. However, this approach backfires. If a label owner insists on signing an artist immediately with too many restrictions and not enough money, it's a sign of insecurity. They should focus on developing proof of concept records before finalizing contracts.

Poor Administration

Backend operations are critical. Many labels fail because they don't pay on time or can't track their finances. Bad bookkeeping and royalty accounting can cripple a label. Even DIY artists must manage their finances to pay producers and track revenue effectively.

Lack of Professionalism

Combining all these issues results in a lack of professionalism. Professionalism can make or break relationships with artists. Poor professionalism tarnishes the label's reputation, affecting both the owners and the incoming artists.

How to Combat These Issues

Rapper Killer Mike's advice is invaluable:

  1. Plot

  2. Plan

  3. Strategize

  4. Organize

  5. Mobilize

How Much Money Do I Need to Start?

You'll need anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 in cash, not credit, if you sign one artist or yourself.

How to Gain These Qualities

Identify your shortcomings and work on them. Ensure your team shares the same commitment to professionalism and quality. Don't bring on help or sign artists who lack these qualities.

Check This Out!

If you're a music creative or executive looking to build your label or publishing company in 60 days or less, grab the 60-Day Record Label Course and get it done today! You’ll gain the ability to get real funding, avoid contractual pitfalls, and keep the middleman out of your pockets. Click the link below to get started now! If you’re skeptical, grab the free guide, "10 Ways to Increase Your Record Label Profits," which comes with a free split sheet download.

Gaining Knowledge First

  1. Helps you get a better start and support your endeavors.

  2. Allows you to create a stronger structure for your label and eventually a culture within the label as you hire staff or contractors.

If You Don’t Improve These Qualities

The business will suffer, it won't grow, and you'll be left wondering why. It starts with the quality of the people and mentality within the label.


If you don’t want to struggle with creating a quality label, work on these essential qualities. By doing so, you can become a force in the industry, releasing great music that resonates with the world.


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