Independent music or indie music is music produced independently from major commercial record labels or their subsidiaries. This process may include an autonomous, do-it-yourself approach to recording and publishing.
In this article, I will write about the benefits of independent labels for indie artists and indie bands. Also, why it is good for music lovers to buy music from indie labels.
There was a time when we had to buy music from the stores. The only music available to us was what was available at local stores. Today, with the invention of internet, we have access to a never-ending collection of songs and music. In the 60s, there were four big names- Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI, known for publishing music and anything that was not published by these labels was called indie music. At that time, it was difficult for indie bands to grow and get noticed without approaching a label, because of which most of them went unnoticed. They often managed to become famous locally by joining hands with other bands, forming a group and performing together or independently, but could not manage to be known nationally or internationally. Some bands became famous because of the beats and different sound of their music, but, mostly, that was the best that they could achieve.
Today, indie artists and indie bands are free to publish their own music and even form a label of their own. When you are selling your work on your own website, customers get connected with you directly, if they choose to buy music from your label. It is more like building a relationship with your customer. They start trusting you because both parties are directly involved. It is like buying a dress online vs walking-in to a designer showroom, discussing the options, taking advice and then choosing a dress for yourself. It is the same experience for listeners to buy music from indie music instead of buying it from a famous label.
You can connect with your fans through a web page and they can comment on your music directly with their name reflecting on your page. You can also send them a ‘thank you’ message for their purchase and let them know that this message is personally written by you. What I am trying to say here is, with an independent label, you have total control of the way you communicate with your fans. If you want to take this to a higher level, you may even quote a fan in a blog. This will give them feel so important, you will be discussed with friends on Facebook and this will lead to more hits and likes for you. For listeners, this experience will never come from a major label.
You may present yourself in your unique style on your own website. You are free to quote whatever price you see fit for your work and you may also offer freebies to your regular listeners. Your fans can bookmark your website and leave comment which will be there for bookers to read, if and when they want to. If you are not associated with a label, you can also meet your fans and hang out with them. You are free to choose when and where you want to perform.
With your own label, whatever you earn by selling your music, is yours, however, major labels give only a portion of music earnings to the artist. If fans could see what their favourite artist earns from major labels, they would never want to buy from them and would instead insist on buying music directly from the artist they admire so much.
If all indie musicians and indie bands were to come together and help promote each other’s work, they would probably be self-sufficient and working independently. Artists from the indie music industry should jointly reject major labels if they try to make you produce what they want to, or know how to sell.
With the way indie music is being loved and appreciated across the world, I am sure that listeners will be happy to support the music and musicians they love. So go no, connect with them, grow and let indie music grow with you!