HIGHLIGHTS FROM MOSHITO 2014: STARTING YOUR OWN RECORD LABEL/PUBLISHING COMPANY
The annual Moshito Music Conference & Exhibition has become one of the most relevant platforms for robust debates and networking for those in the music industry.
Moshito plays a critical role in linking emerging artists with corporate industry giants and seeks to create a platform where music meets business and business creates opportunities for musicians.
One of the highlights from Moshito 2014 held recently at the SABC in Auckland Park, Johannesburg was the workshop: Starting your own record label or publishing company and the legal implications.
The workshop was facilitated by music supervisor and publicist Martin Myers alongside a panel comprising of publisher Arnold Mabunda, record label owner Velile Sithole, financial advisor Milton Lutrin, and record label owner Tshepo Nzimande.
Myers addressed concerns about the negative impact of the digital consumption of music through free downloads. “Instead of worrying about the impact of the digital consumption of music, look into how you can explore this avenue of music consumption to expand reach and further market music,” he said.
The panellists shared pearls of wisdom and lessons they learned that led to the success of their businesses.
Milton Lutrin: Funding, setting up and starting up
•Find innovative ways to raise capital. Passion and positioning will help you raise capital, so take your passion to funders, and show that you can produce results.
•Compile a business plan and implement in line with your business plan.
•Register a company: you can choose between a sole trader or (Pty) Ltd, as CIPC no longer registers closed corporations.
•Have a Memorandum of Understanding between yourself and the musician.
•Register with the relevant statutory entities including SARS, SAMRO and other relevant institutions.
Velile Sithole: Calculated risks pay off
•You must have a passion and a vision; your passion will sustain you.
•You can start a record label company with just three people.
•Regulate the business relationship by signing agreements prior to doing work.
•The cheapest is to start as a sole trader and then expand.
•Invest time in managing musicians as brands in their entirety, and not just the music.
Tshepo Nzimande: Thinking of a master plan
•Have a business plan to attract serious investment.
•Understand the role of each person in the company and make sure each delivers.
•Network and build relationships with industry players, publishers and relevant industry influencers, because you need the support of other experts to expand your musicians’ reach.
•Always go the extra mile.
Arnold Mabunda - The brain game - publishing
•One of your roles as a publisher is to protect and register musical works with SAMRO and other copyright administration organisations so that your artists can earn royalty income based on how often their music is used.
•Be aware of what’s happening in the industry, and stay on top of your game.
•Approach every relationship with the view of establishing a long term relationship.
•Sign short-term agreements and renegotiate at the end of each term, preferably three years, and not longer.
•As a start-up, identify areas where you can partner with more established companies and sign agreements.
•Explore ways in which your musicians can expand beyond talent, to become more profitable.
• Diversify - do not put all your eggs in one basket.