As we reported last week Beatport’s decision to close down most of its services and streamline the business shouldn’t have come as a shock, but for those whose labels were aligned with Beatport distribution services. Clearly its left a lot of record companies scratching their heads and wondering what their next move should be, so we at Decoded put together a list of a few alternative distribution companies which provide everything you’ll need to run a cost effective business.
The role of the distributor has changed over the years, but essentially their core business is to link record companies to consumers. Obviously, as digital came in that job became taken over by the smaller indie labels keen to cut costs. However, as we now see in the digital market, with so many releases all vying for our attention (and money), proper distribution among other things is more important than ever.
You may well have ‘this years summer banger’ for instance, but without the support and infrastructure that a professional distributor can provide, no-one will ever hear it.
Label Worx is a UK company providing a wide selection of services specifically designed for independent dance labels. We provide a solid platform that enables you to efficiently manage many areas of running a record label leaving you more time to concentrate on the music.
Label Worx Promo Manager is an online promotion system using direct mailing technology to deliver your music directly to the inboxes of DJs, Journalists, Licensing Companies or anybody you so desire. We track all downloads, views and feedback to compile statistical analysis enabling you to easily understand how well your campaign is performing.
They offer a complete and comprehensive service for independent labels who wish for their music to be delivered efficiently and in a professional manner to the worlds global download market. Our ever increasing distribution network allows us to deliver your music to a vast array of commercial outlets and specialist download portals.
“Working with some of the world’s biggest dance music labels, including Dirtybird, Simma, Minus, Enhanced and more, has taught us that the secret to being a great distributor is communication. Label Worx is made up of a team of passionate dance music experts and when it comes to distribution, promo, demo, streaming, royalty and mastering services – we’re able to fully service all label needs from studio to store, completely in-house. If you want to know more about what we do, or even just to ask a question about your current situation – we’d love to hear from you.” – Alex Powell (Label Worx)
Royalty Worx will seamlessly calculate statements for your artists and partners. Deducting percentages, splitting expenses, splitting deal rates and many more, is now as easy to do as entering your deals in to our system. Invoicing is now hassle free, with our online invoicing and tracking system, even paying your artist is just a few clicks away.
No need for double entry data or pre calculations. Using their complete mastering service we can turn your raw sound recordings into a final, professionally finished piece of audio ready for promotion and retail. We can digitally master your music to any specification whether they are destined for clubs, radio broadcasts etc.
Label Worx web services is a full end to end solution for successfully creating and managing your complete web presence. Our services are specifically designed and tailored for the needs of an independent record company and simplify each and every step along the way. We can ensure that your website looks great, is quick & easy for you to update and comes at minimal cost.
Manual Music is established by Dutch DJ/producer Paul Hazendonk, initially as a sub label of the infamous Basic Beat record company- and record store just after the summer of 2005 . The label quickly gained fame in the international electronic/techno community with it’s first release ‘Robotfood’ by Petter and has built a solid reputation ever since. In 2009, Paul Hazendonk left the Basic Beat company after more than 8,5 years and adopted the Manual brand name for his own company, simply calling it Manual Music.
The Manual Music company currently houses three record labels: Manual Music, it’s sub label MNL, and it’s sister label Cinematique. We also release digital compilations featuring a selection of our inhouse- and distribution labels on a label called Fever. On top of that the Manual Music company also owns the rights- and handles the catalogue for the following labels: Adult Records, Fly Life Records, Groove Worxx, Lo-FiSoul, Melomane, Relatives, Stolen Moments, Technique and Work Hard Play Hard.
Nowadays Manual Music is a company taking care of management, publishing (in co-operation with BMG Talpa Music), digital distribution and of course releasing music on it’s labels which offer a wide range of genres within the electronic music scene, from electro-pop and indie electronica until straight forward dance floor techno. Every now and then Manual also hosts an area- or a party at various locations in numerous countries.
“Not only do we deliver to the most known DSP’s like Beatport, iTunes etc. but we also work with more niche / genre specific stores such as Boomkat, Whatpeopleplay and Hardstyle.com. Always keeping an eye out for new emerging markets and new initiatives, we were amongst the first to sign a deal with Spotify, monetise content via Youtube, and are already working together with the key download or streaming services in Asian grow markets such as China and Korea.
Started from a label’s point of view (Manual Distribution is part of the Manual Music record company) we felt it was rather unfair that many distributors take a percentage from your income.
For instance; if you invest say €500 in getting a proper remix name on your EP which makes the EP sell better (of if you invest in a PR service for instance), your distributor will profit from your investment if the release does better. So we work with a simple model; the label pays a small fixed fee per single/EP/album and gets a 100% payback. Last but not least we also offer an additional promo mail out service for our labels.” – Paul Hazendonk
Manual Distribution delivers releases to all the main digital download stores and believe its important to only use retail outlets which provide good results rather than spreading your product far and wide to useless stores.
Sound System is part of the mighty Proton family whose distribution deals with 850 record labels globally. It all started from them back in 2009 where CEO Jason Wahlstader (Jay Epoch) was becoming more and more frustrated that ‘unsigned’ was the most played label on the station after four years of broadcasting, so it was only a matter of time before they would try their hand in the music business.
“Although it is a cliché, Proton is more than a distributor – it is a family. From living/working alongside Proton CEO/creator Jason Wohlstader in SF one summer – to the entire team always being there to aid in the growth of my edition projects Yin :: Yang, I will always be grateful to have them in my life, in so many capacities.You could expect the same kind of ‘positivity’ from Proton. Above all, artists and their creations are held in highest-regard. Our distribution platform powers 850 labels, is easy to use, and all the boring stuff (contracts, statements, payments) are automatic.” – Tripp Baronner (Proton Label Concierge)
Proton Music gears itself towards the artists and DJs that create the music we love– our goal is to provide the means for delivering the best quality dance music to the masses while in the process making sure that the musicians receive the best possible compensation for their work. When you purchase an individual track on the Proton Music label you can trust that your hard earned cash is going to the one that deserves it most– the artist. We believe that this approach gives incentives to listeners to support the music rather than pirate it.
Having worked in the music industry for over 20 years, ex Cream resident and manager at 3Beat records, Steve Parry was the perfect person to launch the revolutionary SMP3. A professional, reliable music management company comprising of several departments, all of which Steve is highly experienced and skilled in. Not strictly a distribution company per se, it offers a lot of the services you’d need to get your tracks to the right ears. Its also a cheaper alternative for boutique/low output labels who can deal with much of the business involved with signing, mastering and making the tracks ready for sale, but lack the reach that these niche companies can provide in promotion.
“SMP3 Music Promo is a specialist targeted DJ mail out company, that get the music to the DJs that deserve to hear it. Helping Record labels and artists promote their music to the Worlds best DJ’s that suit the labels identity and help drive promotion to a new level.” – Steve Parry (SMP3)
Partnering SMP3 is Inflyte, an extraordinary new promo service. From the major labels to over 900 independents, Inflyte is an award-winning promo delivery company trusted by some of the most important brands in the music industry.
Inflyte is the go-to promo platform for over 20,000 of the most authoritative tastemakers in music from the BBC to Rolling Stone. They are responsible for delivering nearly 40% of the biggest-selling labels on Beatport, many of whom feature heavily in DJ charts worldwide. They also look after global mega-hits that have reached top of the charts in dozens of countries around the world.
“There’s no question Inflyte has grown to become the leading promo distribution company in the industry today. The company have built a solid reputation for providing an unrivalled level of service alongside their much-loved web and mobile platform that is now the primary delivery partner for tens of thousand’s of independent and major label promos each month.
>Having redefined the user-experience for promo delivery through their market-leading product innovations; among their label clients they now count Ministry Of Sound, Ultra, Cocoon, Defected, Intec, Toolroom, Ram Records and many more.They’ve also become the number one choice for promotion companies looking to outsource their promo delivery via managed solutions with Your Army, SMP3 Promo, Exclusive Promo, DJ Voice, Concrete Promo, Cygnus PR, Hyperactive and Renegade Music among their impressive client list.” – Paul Hamill (Inflyte Co founder)
Whether delivering an obscure slice of underground electronica to a handful of journalists or an international chart-topping hit to thousands, Inflyte’s secure scalable global content delivery network ensures your content gets into the right hands as easily as possible with zero downtime. Inflyte is no ordinary promo-tool: It’s a unique multi-channel delivery platform that has pioneered new innovations in promo delivery and provides an unrivalled user experience in the market today, and they continue to invest massive resources into their technology infrastructure to meet the demands of their clients and users.
From royalty accounting and sales analytics to distribution and promotion, AMPsuite can help streamline your label management saving you time and money. Their web based system allows you to securely log in from anywhere in the world to manage your business on the go.
“AMPsuite offers a fully integrated Record Label Management, promotion and Royalty Accounting Software Platform. Incorporating royalty statement processing & artist accounting, Content Management with compilation builder & automated store delivery, Digital Promotion module with dropbox integration, Automated You Tube video creator & Soundcloud uploader, Web feeds to keep your website up to date, Newsletter module, Digital artist contracting System, Sales analytics module, Social Media builder and much more – including our brand new Publishing module for 2016!” – Keith McDonnell (Director)
AMPsuite is a cloud based platform, offered on a non contract basis which is available as part of a distribution deal with them, or as a stand alone monthly lease product. Clients include Drumcode, Pacha Recordings, Hotflush, OFF Recordings, Vision / Division ( noisia ), Sudbeat, 2-Dutch, 100% Pure, Bitten, Stereo Productions, Iboga, Glasgow Underground, Pornostar, Jalapeno, MN2S Group, Prime Distribution, Baroque, Incepto, Punks Music, Black Rock, Club Class, Spring Tube, IONO Music, Soleid, Kubu Music… you?