This is especially true for electronic artists, unfortunately our art form has become very disposable. Thousands upon thousands of people are learning how to make music, and thousands and thousands of people are signing music........which is great......BUT it means the whole dance music industry has become saturated. Even the very best of tracks which storm up the beatport charts quickly become disposable. That is just the way it goes. Now.....if you do send records off to 'big' labels then fair play to you. If you actually get a track signed to a big label then that is amazing.....your music will be promoted, heard, played and talked about all over the world.....and at that point you are winning! But if you are like 99% of the other artists out there and just happen to not get picked up by a big league player then instead of just randomly signing tracks to smaller labels you may want to consider putting your music up for FREE or selling it independently. Lets be honest, half the time you probably have just as much reach as the small label you sign your track to anyway, and guys.......thousands of tracks a week are being signed....trust me unless you are in the charts on beatport.....then you will not be making / seeing any financial gain. If you are signing your music to smaller labels to 'make money' then im afraid you are signing your music for the wrong reasons.
The beauty of giving music out for free......or uploading it to bandcamp, is that you will gain REAL followers. People who physically went and punched in their email to get your music. ......email you say????? YES EMAIL. Bandcamp gives you the option of uploading your track for a download in exchange for email, you can put it up in exchange for money as well but you may want to leave that until you are a little more established. Offering it for download in exchange for an email means you have generated a lead.....someone who likes your music and will potentially buy your future releases, or if they are feeling generous support you as an artist by paying for stuff even if they do not have too, but this obviously comes over time. If people genuinely like and believe in what you are doing then they will, at times, be generous.
Now im not saying you should completely bypass sending music to labels, or blogs or what not, but just incorporate releases where they can choose to pay amongst all your tracks you sign up to labels. End of the day people like free music, and since music is so widely available ....for free.......you may as well get a few fans on your side by pushing some of your own music for free.
I started rolling with bandcamp and generated some emails to go on my list, so I can keep these people up to date with future productions, however; at the moment I removed all my own music because me and a friend are toying with the idea of starting our own label. Contradicting myself???? well no, not really. The aim of this label will be as a platform for our OWN music, and music of close friends. In doing this I expect to see about......ZERO profit, however; it does mean I will not have to deal with any other labels, the music will be how we want it, when we want it, with artwork we want and no one will be able to tell us what our own music should sound like in order to get released. Once this is up and running....you can bet your top dollar that I will be using bandcamp!! a label releasing for free?? what is the point in that!!!!? well I just told you! And after discussions with friends who run labels, a few of them even stated that their best 'income' from a release.....did in fact come from bandcamp, on a release where the purchaser did infact have a CHOICE to pay.
So there you go people, start putting these little tools to good use in order to promote your music and stop getting so hung up on signing your tracks to labels, there is always independence ;)