How to Start a Record Label and Artiste Management in Nigeria
Basically, what a record label does is to link fans to the artiste. A record label manage and nurture the growth of an artiste from the scratch. They inspire the demand for an artist and carry out supply of musical products to the artiste fans to consume.
Starting a record label in Nigeria demands carrying out independent research, having a team management skills, knowing how to implement program and handle a plan with total dedication. Because there are so many players coming into the business every day. Likewise, there are a lot of fans that want to invest in music management.
REGISTRATION OF THE BUSINESS
For you to start any Record label and artiste Management in Nigeria, you need to understand the business, you can work for other labels or network with existing ones, so you can learn one or two things about the business. To start any type of business in Nigeria, you also need to choose a distinct name for your business; and starting a Record Label business is not an exception. For you to register a record label company, it will cost nothing less than N200, 000 or even more than that because you have a lot of due process to follow. Your Label name has to be registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and necessary documents and certificate has to be obtained.
The reason why you need to register your business is because your Label needs to be a separate legal entity; which means it’s a body on its own and no artiste sign into the label can just leave without due process.
Every activities carried out under your label, after registration are now bonded by law. Registering your company gives it a trademark, which allows your company to have distinct Logo from other existing record label before you and lots more.
However, to make registration of your Record Label Company easier, you have to look for a Business consulting firm like Bulls capital limited to help you in doing this. Visit www.bullscapitalltd.com for more enquiries about registering a record label company in Nigeria.
BRANDING OF YOUR RECORD LABEL AND DEVELOPING A LABEL WEBSITE
Apart from registering your business, another significant things is to establish a brand look for your Company. This is where you will be talking of Logo and a brand identity. The logo you have will change in size to fit in on banners and website posts. This logo and brand identity is the first thing that people will see and will be recognized for years if you are able to start a successful independent record label.
However, there is no way, you will want to build a brand name for your label without talking of having a Website. This website will be manage by your company public relation officer, which you can also call Hype-Man. And alongside your website, a social media channels will also be set up. And your company publicist must make sure the social media channels are linked to each other and customers are able to contact the Label through all of them. Through this website and various social media channels, Fans can contact your Record Label for an event or show.
Your business website will allows your customers to know more about your company and the products or services you offer.
Meanwhile, you will have a legal deal in all things you are doing. Starting from creation and dissolution of all binding documents. You may need the service of a legal practitioner to help you in preparing contracts deed. This legal team will be the one to respond to any lawsuit or legal issues in your Label. In Nigeria, there are so many reputable lawyers that are versatile in music backgrounds and they can prepare the contract deeds for you.
Brand advertisements is the general idea behind running a Record Label in Nigeria, even in anywhere in World.
Moreover, in a situation whereby you need to partner with another person in running a Record Label or Artiste Management Company, you will need a partnership agreement that details the percentage of ownership, you and your partner will have. Also, how each partner can leave the business etc
FUNDING, MARKETING AND PROMOTING YOUR ARTISTE AND YOUR RECORD LABEL
Record Label owner’s sources for funds and promotes their artiste so that his fans or prospective fans will see the artiste. Record label will spend money on the artiste, so as to make him appear good. It’s a record label that will show off an artiste on Radio and Television station so as to give him a personality status he needs to get famous.
While promoting your artiste, always make sure you are promoting your record label too. Most times, record labels promote their name by asking their artiste and producers to always hype the name of their record label at the beginning of any music produced by their Record label. For example, you will always hear the word MAVINS in all music roll out by Artiste under Mavins Records.
However, funds is needed to run a label because all the people you will be hiring are going to be paid. The label won’t be making money at the beginning of the business and there is need to run it with some cash till the business start breaking-even. So before, the label start making money, the Record label owner will need to be making all the funds needed for the management of the label available.
The reason why Label has to fund and promote their artiste is because, they expect what we call Return on Investment on them. Funding and promoting an artiste is one kind of investment that bring a huge amount of returns on a long run. When fans requests for an artist and his musical product; it is the duty of his Label to negotiate with the fans (That is, in the case of a Show). It is the record label that put a price tag on the artist and sells him accordingly. The record label negotiate on behalf of the artist, because they are the one that know the value they have placed on the artiste, so they know what the artist worth and the profit they are expecting on any music deal he enter.
Record label will be the one to make an artiste known to his or her fans. It is the record label that shows off an artiste to the world via various channels.
Finance is a vital aspect of running a record label, and it cannot be overemphasized. Therefore to start a record label and artiste management in Nigeria; you must make sure you are richly endowed with enough funds to invest in the business. Don’t be despise, you will actually make more Return on Investment from it.
In as much, you are promoting the activities of your record label, then you as well marketing the label. Marketing and promoting go alongside each other. Marketing deals with making your brand known to unsuspecting audience. This can be done via different channels of communication. Paid Advert and even through social media handles of your company, which are been run by your company publicist.
ACQUISITION OF EQUIPMENT AND GADGETS FOR YOUR RECORD LABEL COMPANY
For a record label to be highly recognize in the Music Industry, there is a need for Modern equipment and gadgets present in the company. This equipment will make more artist to want to belong to the record label and more fans will also want to partner with the Label boss to move the Label to a greater level.
Some of the equipment used inside the Record label company are:-
- Digital Audio Workstation
- Audio Interface
- Power Generator e.g. Mikano or any other Small generator
- Microphone Stands
- Microphones etc.
All the aforementioned equipment and gadgets and lots more will be acquired by the Record Label owner, in order to run the company swiftly. The cost of all the equipment will appear in your business plan.
CHOICE OF LOCATION
So many record label are located in a particular area or state that they believed that, there are so many artists residing there. For example, in Nigeria, majority of country’s record label companies are located in Lagos.
They decided to establish their business in Lagos, because Lagos is the home of most artiste in Nigeria. And there are so many shows in different places in Lagos that helps in promoting an artiste. So, record label own prefers to be in a place where, there wont be much stress to get their artist into Limelight
RAISING OF FUNDS FOR A RECORD LABEL COMPANY
Basically, the record label owner used to be the one that funds the activities of a record label from the onset. And sometimes, they got this funds through collecting loan from the banks by the use of Business Plan. So, the usefulness of business plan in starting any business cannot be overemphasized.
When a good business plan is been prepared, the record label owner can use to secure a long term loan from the bank and pay back at the stated time in their terms of agreement.
NEED FOR A BUSINESS PLAN
However, for you to be sure of what you are about doing with your finances, you need a good Business plan. This is where the role of a Consultant comes in. You need a highly grounded consultant to prepare a business plan with a solid financial model for you. It is inside this business plan that you will know:-
- What are the ongoing expenses to be incur in running the business
- How much you will invest on equipment.
- How much you will invest on each artist you sign
- How many people will you employ and how much you will pay them.
- How you are going to get your returns on investments etc.
- The business plan will also reveal your target market. That is, how to target and communicate with your audience.
- Business plan will also show how you are to charge clients that want the services of your record label.
You need to also know that, you can run a Record label without having a functional Sound studio, which will help you saving costs. Because, your artist music will be produced and mixed in-house.
HOW TO SIGN ARTISTE
As you know that, you will need to employ some people into your record label to work with you, among those people you would employ; there will be Human Resource staff among them. They can be two or more, depending on the scale in which your Record label want to operate.
The HR, you will have in your Record Label Company must have a good listening ear for music. Because, when you want to sign an artiste, they will be the one in forefront to listen to the artiste music. They will assess his voice, his genre of music, the way he comport himself and so on.
HR are also the one to foresee how far the about to-be sign artist will go in the nearest future. They will search for the artiste based on what you specify in your company Memorandum. So, your Head HR must be someone well-grounded music, so you can be able to sign an artiste with a good future prospects.
Moreover, another person or set of people you need in your record label is/are a Hype-Man/Public Relation Officers. They are the one that will be lobbying for interviews for your artiste and also pushing your artiste popularity on every social media. They are the one that will create demand for your artiste. They will as well make sure your labels activities are air on radio and watched TV shows. They will also help in advertising your label on billboards, posters and flyers. Practically, this Hype Men/Publicists used to be a blogger with the experience of publicizing for a record label and artiste management. All in all, you as the CEO, need to be the one pumping your funds into the business. You can as well act as the Artist Manager, apart from the CEO. Your label publicists are in charge of your building your image and public welfare of all your team members. They as well manage the Record label media profiles. They are the ones that are so conversant with what is going on in the Music industry and they are the voice to the people.
In Managing your artiste; you need a service of someone called Manager. In most cases, you can fill this gap as the Label boss, as well as the Manager to your artist. Artiste Manager is the labels closest connection with the artiste. He is the one that ensure that the artiste follow the ideology of the label and most times he is responsible for sales and marketing of the music of Artiste.
Another set of people you will need to employ as part of your label company crew are:-
- Business Executive Officer – He will be in charge of your label payroll, Finance records and keeping your book of accounts. Basically, he will over the managerial activities of your
- Sales Team: – Apart from the Artiste Manager, you also need the service of a sales team. They will be the ones to ensure that, your artiste records are sold in an appropriate manner. They will ensure that, piracy copies are reduced to barest minimum. They can also serve as a medium through which Fans book for your Artiste performance.
- Producers/ Sound Engineers: – They are one that work in your Label studio. They make sure that the quality of music produced in our Label Studio sounds good. They used to be a professional in Music and have a technical know-how about handling various engines used in-house or even on show ground. It is so important to get your tracks sounding professional, that’s why good sound engineers are needed in your Label. For instance, this days, a lot of incompetent producers are not getting their tracks mastered properly, and that’s not good for a record label.
LICENSING YOUR RECORD LABEL
When a record label is been formed, there is a need to obtain permits and license. You need to license your record label, so that you can be able to operate freely in the State as a Record label and you won’t be fine by License authority. For example, we have Record label Owner Association of Nigeria, PMAN and so on. All
In an abridged form, this is the step in starting a record label and they are:-
- Planning of the business
- Forming a legal entity
- Registering of the label for Tax purposes
- Opening of a business bank account
- Setting up of business accounting
- Getting necessary permits and licenses
- Getting business insurance
- Defining your label brand
- Establishing your label web presence.
However, you need to also know about how you will make money in Record Label business. Music is sold on a daily basis in different ways, which include selling music through both digital and physical channels. Fans of an artiste buys their favorite artiste music on compact disks, Mp3 files and streams form websites too. Likewise, your Record Label can make money through licensing deals which involves use of the music in Soundtracks in film and television, also in video games and commercials and other commercial outlets. Also, record label used to collect royalties on every music they produce for their artiste. Meanwhile, collecting royalties from your music might takes times, sometimes, it used to be like six months.
Therefore, when starting a record label, after dealing with all necessary things, you need to also know that royalties is there for you to gain apart from every other channels of income.
Finally, as a Label owner you are to be in control of so many matters in the business. Starting from finances, management and releasing of music from your stable. You have to be in charge of all activities no matter how many staff you have working with you. However, when money starts coming in for the business; have it mind that, you will pay Income Tax. That’s why you need to account for any money you made in the business.
About the Writer
Olusipe Abiodun Yinka is an Audit Associate in Bulls Capital Limited. He has a National Diploma in Accounting from Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State; as well as a Degree in Accounting from Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi State. He is a creative writer and a Trendsetter. Apart from writing, Olusipe is also an entertainer.
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