Start Your Own Record Label

On DGTRS you’ll find a lot of crazy ideas coming out of my brain and translated to the computer keyboard. Or at least these ideas seem crazy on the outset.

Well…this idea isn’t mine. It belongs to Donald Mohr of Get Off My Lawn Records. Watch his video below and then read my commentary afterwards:

Overall I really like the idea. Musicians have zero upfront costs and get the benefits of cross promotion. The studio assumes the financial risks although they are kept low. And since they are acting as a record label, they only work with bands that they want to work with.

I’m not a fan of the “family” language because it’s a little too hippie-esque for my tastes. Especially when ultimately the musicians are legal contractors. Which is fine without the flowery language. But hey…to each their own.

Audience transparency, equal profit distribution and logistical limits are good. Inventory control is key and promoting other bands is very important. Project parameters, 20% booking fee for gigs…all good stuff. Master recording ownership and no re-recording for five years with a buy out option. Songwriter/copyright ownership stays with the appropriate people. I could go on but I want you to watch the video.

The only thing I really take major issue with is the unreleased material provision. Why does Don get to let others listen to the material prior to public release? I’ll ask Don on YouTube to get back with me on that.
Update: Don responded and had this to say…

Real Home Recording: what is the reason for allowing you to let others listen to the material prior to public release but not the band?

Donald Mohr: Mostly to involve photographers/artists to make the cover. Also Publicist so they can hit the ground running. In the end, it’s about developing hype from those who can understand a work in progress, but being able to identify who those appropriate people would be.

So there you have it…an alternative to charging directly for your services. Since you’ll be making your own CD-Rs I recommend Taiyo Yuden WaterShield! FalconMedia Smartguard discs may also work well.