Dotted Music Blog

The Roles And Struggles Of An Indie Label

Chris Eckman is a co-founder of Glitterbeat Records, a German record label specializing in “vibrant global sounds,” which won the Best Label award at the WOMEX music conference in both 2014 and 2015. I talked to Chris for our podcast right after the end of the MENT Ljubljana panel he moderated.

The name of the panel was “The New Life of Indie Labels,” and the speakers were Tony Duckworth ([PIAS] Poland, PL), Andy Bibey (One Little Indian Records, UK), Dace Volfa (I Love You Records, LV), and Miran Rusjan (Moonlee Records, SI).

In this Music Growth Talks episode, Chris Eckman comments on the “brutally tough” business of running a record label, reminds of the importance of a local market knowledge, shares the things labels look for in artists besides their music, and talks on why this industry doesn’t treat artists as VIPs anymore.

Listen to the conversation to also learn how many CDs and vinyls Glitterbeat ships to Scandinavian countries compared to the UK, and why some labels end up promising artist more than they can deliver.

Some of the topics covered in the conversation:

  • Resisting the “world music” tag.
  • “Digital vs. physical” is more complicated than you think.
  • “Every genre, every country has its own logic.”
  • The homework to do before getting signed.
  • “The mix of good to bad indie labels hasn’t changed.”
  • Educate yourself – because you have to.
  • How recording contracts get more artists-friendly.
  • Vinyl sales grow, but don’t release your music on vinyl only.

Listen to the episode below:

Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or by searching “Music Growth Talks” in your favorite podcast app.
Andrew Apanov is the founder of the Dotted Music digital marketing agency, and host of the Music Growth Talks podcast.
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