Starting a label

If you are starting a label, we can help!  You can join AIM at any stage, and we can help you through those early days when there is a lot to learn.

Here you will find some free resources to help you set up your label.  There are many many more resources and guides available in the members’ section, if you go on to join AIM these will be freely available to you.

Click here to read top freelance journalist and media consultant Emmanuel Legrand’s 10 Commandments To Successfully Run a Label.

PRS for Music have created this diagram to explain The Music Universe. Understanding the flow of royalties and relationships within the industry is key to running a successful business so we recommend analysing this.

Top 5 Tips for Starting an Independent Label

  1. Buy a copy of “The AIM Guide to Survival and Success in the Music Industry”.  Over 600 pages outlining everything you need to know to run a successful independent label, for only £10+VAT.   Also download the free articles on starting a label at the bottom of this page.  We also recommend checking out the resources provided by The Unsigned Guide and BBC Introducing.
  2. Go to your local Business Link for advice on starting a business – they can help with business plans, accessing finance and start-up support.
  3. Join PPL – make sure you get the money due to you from broadcasts and public performance of your recordings!
  4. Register with MCPS. MCPS collect the royalties that must be paid to the writers whose songs you record and sell.  Failure to pay MCPS is one of the most common reasons small labels go bankrupt!
  5. Join AIM!

How Are Artists Making Money In 2016?

There is regular speculation in the media about what artists receive from streaming, live revenue, sync deals, merch, brand partnerships and other areas. We ask a selection of artists, managers and labels their thoughts on streaming revenues, brand partnerships and where the money is coming from in 2016.

Panellists: Charlene Hegarty (Director of Publishing, Smalltown America), Rob Hallett (Founder, Robomagic), Matt Walker (Artist & Label Manager, Raygun Music), Sam Duckworth (Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly), Dave Wallace (Manager, The League International). Chaired by: Tom Robinson (Artist & Radio Presenter, BBC 6Music).

Running A Great Small Label

The return of Indie-Con’s most popular session – we take a look at some of the UK’s finest up-and-coming and specialist record labels and find out what makes them great, as well as the challenges and lessons they’ve encountered along the way.

Panellists: Robert Rath (Erased Tapes), Luciana Pegorer (Delira Musica), Vinita Joshi (Founder, Rocket Girl), Dave Cawley (FatCat Records), Adam Scrimshire (Wah Wah 45s). Chaired by: Charlie Phillips (Head of Legal & Business Affairs, AIM).

Running a Great Small label – panel from AIM’s Indie-Con 2013 event

We all know it takes buckets of passion, determination, hard graft and a good ear to run a successful independent label, but how exactly have these small independents done it so well?

Panellists: Nathan Barley (Basick / DSTRY EVRYTHNG), Simon Drake (Naim Label), Tony Morley (The Leaf Label), Emily Moxon (Brownswood Recordings), Marcus Scott (Hyperdub), Paul Riddlesworth (Too Pure Singles Club). Chair – Sean Adams (Drowned In Sound).

Indie-Con 2012 Video: Show me the money! Sourcing investment for independent labels

What are investors looking for in music companies, and how do you secure investment for your business? Presentation from: Davin McDermott (RSM Tenon) and Mary-Alice Stack (ArtCo Projects, Arts Council England). Chaired by Charlie Philips, AIM.

Added: 20.10.16