Many musicians are usually faced with a major decision about whether to pursue their careers as independent artists or whether to get signed by a recording label. Whereas each of these options has its own pros and cons, it’s always down to the individual artiste and how they want to run their musiccareers.
Let’s take a look at 4 benefits of being an independent artiste.
You own all the copyrights to your music
As an independent artiste you essentially own all the copyrights to your music because you are solely responsible for its production. This means that any revenue you generate from music sales all belongs to you. The same is not applicable when you’re signed to a label because in majority of the cases they own all the copyrights to any work they produce therefore as an artiste you actually don’t own any of the music. It’s the label that gets to decide how much they will pay you once the music has been sold.
You get to earn more
Being an independent artist, you’re basically your own record label meaning that you will get to keep 100 per cent of the profits you will make from your music sales. The same can’t be said of artistes signed to a label because they will only earn a percentage of the total profits and it’s mostly the label that will get to decide what percentage of these profits to pay the artist. Majority of the times, the labels actually earn more than the artists.
You have greater career control
One of the biggest benefits of being an independent artist is that you have greater control over your music career. You get to decide what music genre to focus on, the content of your music and when to produce it, as well as explore with musical styles that have not been covered in the mainstream. You essentially have the freedom to express your own individuality through the music that you chose to produce. The same can’t be said for signed artistes because all these decisions are made for them by the record label therefore the artiste doesn’t have any control over their career direction.
You get to enjoy long term success
As an independent artiste, because you have more control over your music in terms of what to produce and when to produce, you are more likely to structure it in a way that works best for you long term to ensure continuous revenue. When signed to a label you don’t have such freedom. Because record labels sign many artists, they have to create a time table for production and prioritize the artists they feel have greater potential to succeed. This means that you may end up being disadvantaged by having your projects shelved for months if the label doesn’t feel as though you’re among their top tier artists and this will affect your revenue generation.
As an artiste, it’s therefore important to do your due diligence and weigh the pros and cons of each of these options before you decide on which will work best for you.