Nowadays, more and more artists are releasing their music independently rather than seeking the support of traditional record labels. This revolutionary change in the music industry is allowing unsigned and independent musicians to have their voices heard and gain recognition, rather than being silenced by power politics and conformity.
As the unsigned and independent music movement becomes more and more popular, it is important to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and understanding of the industry and its benefits. That’s why, in this blog post, we are providing a comprehensive guide to discovering the power in being unsigned and independent.
Being unsigned and independent is an opportunity for budding to enable niche artists to explore their creativity better, gain support from discerning music fans and build a dedicated, loyal fan base – something that traditional labels do not give enough room for.
From exploring the origins of unsigned and independent music to learning about artist support platforms, this guide will not only help you to understand the beauty and power of being an unsigned and independent musician – it will also give you the opportunity to learn how to start discovering and connecting with other amazing, talented and fresh new independent artists!
Read on to learn all about the power in being unsigned and independent, and why it is beneficial to the artists.
Why Should Musicians Sign with Major Music Labels?
In the current digital age, major music labels are not the only game in town for independent musicians looking for a record deal. With the rise of streaming services, independent artists have direct access to their fans, leading to some forgoing signing with a major label. While the idea of making it independent is appealing at first glance, there is much to be said in favor of signing with a major label—especially if you’re looking to reach a global audience.
The upside of signing with a major label is that they offer resources and expertise that can help take a career to the next level. Major labels have an existing infrastructure designed to build an artist’s fan base, such as radio airplay, television performances, and licensing deals. These resources can prove invaluable when launching a career and getting your music heard by thousands or even millions of people. The budget for marketing and advertising under major labels can make all the difference when trying to get your music out there. Furthermore, record label contracts often include advances on royalties which can provide artists with essential funds that many independent musicians simply cannot afford.
At the same time, signing with a big label has its downsides too. Artists will have to abide by any terms put in place by the label, and formulary recording contracts and sacrifice some level of creativity and artistic integrity in control over their artistry. With independent acts having more autonomy to craft their own sound, this has been known to cause issues in encouraging “selling out” within certain musical circles and subcultures.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference whether or not one decides to sign with a major label or stay independent—or perhaps find some hybrid strategy by setting up affiliations with other artists or going in with smaller boutique labels. However, the decision should not be taken lightly as it could affect one’s career path moving forward. Now that we’ve discussed why some may choose to sign with a major label, let’s come full circle and explore how unsigned and independent music can benefit writers, producers, and performers alike.
Signing with a major record label can offer additional resources and help an artist’s career reach the next level, but they may have to sacrifice some level of creativity and artistic control. Ultimately, it is a personal preference on whether to sign with a major label or remain independent, as no one decision is right in every situation. Unsigned and independent music has its own benefits, such as added autonomy and creativity that major labels might not offer.
The Benefits of Unsigned and Independent Music
When it comes to the debate of whether or not unsigned and independent music is better than that of a major label, there are pros and cons on both sides. While music labels offer established artists greater production value, promotional ability, marketing, funding, and larger fanbases, there are certainly still many benefits to remaining an unsigned artist as well.
One great benefit of being an unsigned artist is the increased control they have over their own work. By not being tied to a major label, they can avoid corporate control while keeping all of the profits they make from their music instead of having to share it with record companies. This is especially beneficial for new artists who don’t yet have the leverage or demand to negotiate for a favorable contract. They also may experience more creative freedom and flexibility in terms of what kind of music they want to create without worrying about having to meet certain expectations from a label.
For fans, unsigned and independent music can oftentimes be more personal, authentic, and unique compared to the less-personalized experience of listening to a bigger label. It also allows smaller up-and-coming artists a platform where they can develop as musicians and establish their own niche fanbase – something that wouldn’t be as easily attainable with a major label behind them.
Evidently, there are great benefits to signing with a big music label along with staying independent or unsigned. As this guide goes on, we will discuss how these advancements are allowing musicians’ creativity, expression and artistry to have increased mobility than ever before – thereby allowing them to reach new heights in the industry regardless of their background or resources.
Creativity and Freedom of Expression
The creative freedom and expression of unsigned and independent music is perhaps one of its strongest benefits. Many aspiring musicians find that they are able to explore new sounds and styles in ways that aren’t possible when conforming to strict industry guidelines. This liberation from a particular genre or format is especially beneficial for artists who have unique and unconventional ideas, as it allows them the space to explore all styles of music without restriction. Furthermore, the absence of corporate involvement often leads to more candid lyrical themes being explored, allowing an artist to have a far more personalized approach to their artistry.
However, there is a counterargument that suggests an artist’s inability to access certain resources can stifle creativity. While it is generally accepted that unsigned and independent artists don’t need access to significant sums of money, top-shelf studios, or famous collaborators in order to get their music heard, some argue that larger labels or organizations are better equipped to provide these services, resulting in higher quality music being produced than would otherwise be possible with self-sourced resources.
Though there seems no clear answer as to what environment produces better quality music, ultimately it’s up to each individual artist and their own unique circumstances, which will ultimately determine which path provides the most value for their own situation. Both paths offer potential, but at the end of the day, the true power resides in the hands of those brave enough to create something truly original – regardless of where they choose to route their destiny.
With that being said, while creativity and expression are vital aspects of success as an unsigned artist, access to resources can also play a major factor in one’s journey. With the right resources supplemented with sheer determination and originality, anything can be achieved – so let’s examine what kind of opportunities are available for those looking to make a name for themselves on their own terms.
Access to Resources and Opportunities
Accessing resources and opportunities to help unsigned and independent music thrive is an essential part of the success of any artist. Furthermore, those limitations allow them to truly express themselves in the most creative of ways. On one side, those with access to vast resources such as managers, producers, and marketing teams have the power to reach wider audiences and make a more impactful impression on the world of music. However, those who lack these resources and connections must get creative with their approach to standing out in the competition.
Without outside input from labels or industry professionals, unsigned musicians can focus on exploring all possibilities for how their music is shared with the world. From social media strategies to live performances, these artists are able to craft a career path that is solely built upon their own creativity and determination. Therefore, even without tangible resources like money or expertise, they have access to valuable tools that can still contribute to success.
With diligent practice and networking, aspiring musicians now have an unprecedented ability to discover new opportunities in this digital age. Examples range from exclusive showcases and promotions wherein they could gain more traction or know-how than they started out with. Companies such as Bandcamp enable fans (or music supervisors looking for talent) of any genre or style to find exactly what they are looking for without much effort. These days, any musician can also get featured on popular streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music when their music does well enough organically.
The key takeaway here is that all artists – both signed and unsigned – have different levels of access at their disposal in order to succeed. With passion, diligence, self-motivation, and a bit of luck, you can also take advantage of these various resources available to help make your musical dreams come true – regardless of industry affiliation. Now that we’ve discussed both sides of the story, let’s move forward on understanding how best we can put our music out there in the public eye, which will be explored in our next section…
How to Market and Distribute Unsigned Music
Once budding independent and unsigned artists have access to resources and opportunities, the next crucial step in breaking into the music industry is finding ways to properly market and distribute their music. To make sure their creations are heard, aspiring musicians must find ways to make them available to listeners.
One way to market and distribute unsigned music is through streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora or Tidal. It is important that new artists create a profile on one (or more) of these platforms as this will help promote their work among other established musicians. Additionally, it can provide major label exposure as many of these services offer advice for songs on how to reach wider audiences. Despite the potential benefits of using streaming services, there are also critics about potential problems with money-making in the streaming market. Since streaming revenues are shared amongst all performers, large payouts are rare even if millions of people listen. Along with this, fewer people have control over the production cost including marketing, which can limit the success of an artist or song even if they have created something hit-worthy.
Another method for marketing and distributing independently produced music is by creating online posts detailing new singles or albums prior to their release date. This can help cultivate excitement around an artist’s music for their fans and further increase awareness about the musician’s content. Posting behind-the-scenes footage from recording studios or filming during live shows also helps move a career along, but it must be done consistently and thoughtfully to really grab people’s attention. Since emerging artists are competing with signed acts who often receive greater promotion from record labels, digital promotion can be key when trying to propel an unsigned musician’s growth forward.
At the end of the day, determining which routes to take when marketing and distributing unsigned music largely depends on what outcome each artist desires at a given time while taking into account any existing limitations or restrictions that may exist in some regions or countries. However, through proper planning and research, independent musicians should be able to gain sufficient knowledge necessary to create successful campaigns in order to have their work heard by many.
Having a well-developed strategy in place is crucial when it comes to wanting an artist’s songs heard by a larger audience, but understanding just where the right channels through which you can reach those listeners could soon reveal which tactics may be more effective than others for your own needs – that’s our discussion for the next section!
Finding the Right Channels
The marketing and distribution of unsigned music has the potential to be a challenging process. In this regard, it is important to understand the effectiveness of finding and using the right channels to get maximum exposure. While there are numerous free avenues available, such as Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and Youtube, there are also other methods such as radio play, fanzines, press releases, and streaming services that can bring additional exposure. It is up to each artist or band to decide which route best suits their style and ambitions.
On one hand, streaming services tend to reduce overall revenue from every single track due to smaller royalty payouts compared to physical releases. Yet on the other hand, subscription-based platforms such as Spotify offer far greater access for both developing and established artists alike than ever before; with music available across multiple platforms and devices, reaching more people in less time has never been easier.
Ultimately, understanding how to make the most out of new developments in digital technology – while still embracing traditional forms of promotion – is key for those looking to find success in the music industry. This can seem an arduous task, but with careful planning and experimentation, finding the right channels can have a huge impact on creating exposure for your work.
For many unsigned and independent artists, navigating the challenges posed by these diverse outlets may appear daunting at first, but when approached with consideration and confidence, they can prove invaluable marketing tools with significant potential benefits. By channeling their drive and passion into selecting outlets with care and making strategic decisions along the way, those engaging in unsigned and independent music can set themselves up for future success whilst navigating around potential pitfalls. As such, it is now time to further explore some of these challenges facing unsigned and independent music in greater detail.
- A 2018 survey found that 8 out of 10 unsigned musicians believe that signing a record deal does not give them more opportunities to succeed than remaining unsigned.
- A 2017 study showed that independent labels tend to produce more albums each year than major labels, despite having fewer resources.
- According to a 2019 report, 56% of U.S. revenue from digital music downloads came from album sales by independent labels or artists.
Challenges Facing Unsigned and Independent Music
When it comes to unsigned and independent music, there are certain challenges that make it difficult for the genre to break into mainstream success. For example, many new artists lack the marketing budget of their larger, major-label counterparts, which makes it more difficult to compete for radio play and other promotional efforts needed to land potential hits. Additionally, some venues and festivals may favor well-established artists over upcoming acts because of the financial security already in place with a deal from a major label.
However, not all is lost for aspiring musicians hoping to make it big on their own terms. The democratization of streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music has leveled out the competition, allowing smaller acts to have their names heard by a larger audience. Platforms such as Bandcamp also give unsigned musicians access to loyal fans who can subscribe directly to an artist’s music and support them without having the need for label backing. A significant advantage in this regard is the fact that these online platforms don’t take big cuts of income generated by sales or streams like labels do when they sign an artist.
Moreover, DIY events such as house concerts are becoming increasingly popular, showcasing amazing talent while providing independent musicians with opportunities they wouldn’t usually get by going through traditional audition processes held by labels. This allows small artists to stand out from their more prominent peers and be in front of potential fans who haven’t had the chance to discover them otherwise. Examples of successful running house concert series like The Listening Room Network or Sofar Sounds are widespread and proof of the success an artist can find by changing their tactics and focusing efforts on stories that convey the authenticity of sound independent music seeks to capture.
The #1 Global Internet Radio Station for Unsigned and Independent Music: Glacer FM
Unsigned and independent music is changing the music industry as we know it. With the rise of technology and the internet, it’s easier than ever for artists to produce and share their music. And while major record labels still dominate the airwaves, more and more music fans are turning to independent music for something new and unique. At Glacer FM, we believe in supporting independent artists and giving them a platform to share their music. Our online radio station is dedicated to playing the best-unsigned music from around the world. We showcase a diverse range of genres, including rock, pop, hip-hop, and more. Not only does supporting independent music help artists get their music heard, but it also helps to keep the music industry diverse and innovative. By supporting independent artists, you’re helping to create a more vibrant and exciting music scene. So, why not join the revolution and support independent music? Tune in to Glacer FM today and discover the next big thing in music. Contact us to learn more and become a part of our community of music lovers.