Category: Recording Music


Crowdfunding: 5 Websites For Funding Your Album Recording

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

So, your band is rockin’, your set list is solid, you’re performing regularly… and then you start thinking about recording. A little research shows that it’s not a cheap process. You could always tap into your trust fund to finance the project. Wait, you don’t have one? There are your lotto winnings to consider. Not that lucky? I suppose you don’t want to max out your credit lines, either?

What if there was another way to fund your project, one where those who like your music and want the end product help you get it? More and more artists are pursuing this path and crowdfunding their recording projects. Want to learn more or join in? Here are some of the top sites for doing just that:


You set your own goals determined on the needs of the project. The site doesn’t charge fans unless the funding goal is reached. Once the project is fully funded, PledgeMusic charges its 15% fee; however, there are no hidden fees for credit card processing. Pledge Music can also be used for pre-orders if you already have a completed album.


This site also charges a flat 15% fee upon reaching the funding goal. Sellaband does offer revenue sharing as an option. You can offer a revenue share to donors who buy a certain number of “parts,” to encourage larger donations. This revenue stream for an album is five years or the length of the tour (if the project you’re funding is a tour).


Probably one of the better-known crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter works with musicians as well as artists, photographers, designers, and so on. The site charges a 5% fee along with a 3-5% fee for credit card processing. Kickstarter also has a legal contract that you must fulfill. They require that, if the funding goal is reached, you must complete the project; otherwise, the funds must be returned to the donors. This could be problematic if you spent the money on the project and are still unable to complete it, because you’ll need to re-raise the funds to refund your donors. However, this guarantee might comfort those investing in your project.


This site offers you the option of a flexible funding or fixed music crowdfunding campaign. Musicians that choose flexible funding will be charged 9% by Indiegogo and 3% for credit card processing. If you reach your goal, Indiegogo gives 5% of their fee back to you. If you don’t reach the goal, they keep the whole 9%, but you also keep the rest of the money that was raised. With fixed funding, 4% of raised funds go to Indiegogo once the goal is met. If the goal is not met, everything is refunded to the contributors.

Feed the Muse

Like the other sites, this website lets you set up a project and share it with potential investors. Funds are generally sent out weekly (by electronic transfer) or monthly (by check), as long as the amount is over $100. If the amount is under $100, payments will be made quarterly. The amount taken by Feed the Muse is unclear, since one page states that it takes 10%  and another page lists 7.5%. However, it does state that the fees include those for processing credit cards. The site does not give an option for refunds to donors.

Have you used one of these sites? Or one like these? How was your experience?

See also: Recording vs. Performing: A Musician’s Focus, The Right Recording Studio For Your Music, Make Money Selling Your Music, Increase Your Exposure: Streaming Music, Musicians and Crowdsourcing.

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Record Labels

Do You Need A Record Label?

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

If you are in the middle of recording an album or are dreaming of doing so one day, you might have asked yourself whether or not you need a record label, and what they even do. Here is some information to help you decide.

Why Labels Exist

Record labels exist to fund music recording projects, which can cost thousands of dollars. Labels sign artists they believe will be profitable then oversee the production process, from song selection to recording to marketing to distribution. Established labels can offer artists several benefits including their vast experience, important connections, and deep pockets.

Major Labels: Drawbacks

The music industry has undergone numerous changes over the last fifty years. Notably, a series of mergers has resulted in only a handful of major recording companies. Because of the ratio of talent to labels, it can be difficult to sign with these labels or receive focused attention after signing. A management company that invests in artist promotion could make signing on easier. Big record labels are notorious for contracts that do not benefit the artist. The contracts can require that artists repay various percentages of recording, touring, and/or merchandising expenses. Artists who don’t, or whose albums don’t make enough of a profit, might be dropped. Lastly, major labels often own master recordings or the rights to the music.

Alternatives to Major Labels

While some artists still dream of being signed by a major label, there are two viable alternatives to major record labels. The first is to use independent labels, which have varying degrees of industry clout and available financing. These labels generally allow artists more control over the project and may provide more-focused attention than larger labels can. However, artists might have to invest more money in the process up front.

Another option is to release your music yourself. It can be difficult to make money with a self-released album (unless you perform in public a lot or get media exposure), but it’s not impossible. The upside is that you absolutely own and control your music. The internet is a fantastic tool that has made the process easier. You can research the stages of the process, hand-pick your studio, promote your music and events the way you want, and distribute your music. There are numerous websites for streaming or selling your music online, and social media outlets are vital tools for promoting your music.

Have or do you use a record label? Why or why not?

See also: Performing vs. Recording: A Musician’s Focus, 5 Questions to Ask Before Recording Music, The Right Recording Studio For Your Music

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