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Releasing Music Independently or With a Record Label?

self releasing music vs record label

The music industry is a tough one. So many artists are clamoring for attention and trying to cut through the noise. If you haven’t been in the game too long or don’t have a well-established artist name, it can be hard to find an audience. You’ve got two options when it comes to getting your music out there: releasing your music on your own or releasing it with a record label.

In this article, you’ll learn the difference between releasing your music independently or releasing it with a record label. Our goal is to help you decide when it’s a good idea to release your music independently and when it would be better to work with a record label.

Table of Contents

Self Release vs Record Label

Releasing music independently means that you are in charge of everything from A to Z.
You get to decide how your music is distributed or when it’s going to be released, and what marketing and promotion strategies you use. This can be a great way to maintain creative control over your project, but it can also be a lot of work and it can be difficult to get your music heard without the backing of a major label. You’ll need to be organized and self-motivated to get everything done.

However, working with a record label gives you access to their resources and expertise, which can make the process of releasing music much easier. Labels also usually have better relationships with radio stations and other outlets that can help promote your music.
While working with labels, you will give up some control over your project and may have to compromise on your vision to fit the label’s expectations. It’s important to weigh all of these factors before deciding which route is right for you.

Self Release Pros & Cons


✔ Complete control over your music
✔ Keeps 100% profits
✔ Keeps all of the rights
✔ You can make your own cover


✔ Limited audience (If you don’t have a large fan base)
✔ Lacking network & good connections
✔ Self-promotion & marketing expenses
✔ Requires investment & time to spend

Record Label Pros & Cons


✔ Larger audience reach
✔ Better option if you have a limited budget
✔ Label has a great network & relationship with the right people
✔ Time-saver


✔ Less control over your music
✔ Labels take royalties (mostly between 50% - 80%)

When Should I Use Labels or Release Independently?

record label or self release

There’s no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether to release your music independently or with a record label. It ultimately comes down to what’s best for your song and what will help you reach your goals. Here are some important things to consider:

Your budget: If you’re planning to release on your own, do you have the budget to cover everything from the production costs to the marketing and promotions?

Your fan base: Do you have already a large and loyal fan base that you can rely on to support your release? If not, working with a record label can help you reach a wider audience.

There's no right or wrong answer - it's all about what's best for you.

In Conclusion

The decision of releasing a song independently or with a record label is a difficult one. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some artists prefer the creative control that comes with releasing music independently, while others feel that a record label can provide more support and good potential for their songs.

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About the author:
Kobe Cooper
Kobe Cooper
I'm Kobe and I'm addicted to the art of music production. I started KnowsAudio because I wanted to help music producers with their musical journey. My favorite place is my studio where you probably find me most of the time playing with some new plugins 🙂
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