Record Label Business Course

Study online in our virtual classroom


Record labels sit at the very heart of the music industry - but how do they work?  Our exciting ‘Record Label Business’ course will explain everything. 


Are you thinking of starting an independent record label? Perhaps you’d love to find a job at one of the major labels, or as an artist, you have a vested interest in how these important companies function? If so, this course has been designed with you in mind.


Taught by AIM award winning label boss Jack Clothier, we’ll explain the important business fundamentals in detail (involving contracts, income streams, expenses, collection agencies, manufacturing and distribution and more), and discuss all the exciting, creative elements (signing artists, developing artists, marketing and promotion, publicity and branding) involved in the ‘Record Label Business’, running your own record label and more.


Secure your place on this popular course today to see what all of the fuss is about! 

Speak with a course advisor  | 0207 0784022

Available Course Dates


Online in our virtual classroom:

(Find out more about how our online courses work)

Note: All times shown in UK

07 - 28 Jan 2021 | Thursdays | 18:30-21:00

03 - 24 Mar 2021 | Wednesdays | 18:30-21:00

07 - 28 Apr 2021 | Wednesdays | 18:30-21:00

06 - 27 May 2021 | Thursdays | 18:30-21:00

Meet The Tutor | Jack Clothier


This is Jack, your tutor for The Record Label Business course at SMB: The School of Music Business.

Jack Clothier is the founder of the iconic 'Alcopop! Records' (winner of the 'AIM Award for Best Small UK Indie Label' and the Punktastic Award for 'Best Label In The UK'). Jack has grown the label rapidly, and become famed for innovative release formats and unique marketing techniques - from releasing a record on a bicycle format to secretly buying UKIP's website domain from under their noses and attracting international media attention in doing so. Jack and his label have led their artists to such coveted achievements as number 1 on the Billboard Hype Chart and major radio, television and live exposure. The NME named their label compilation as ‘The Coolest Compilation Ever’. The Alcopop roster has included Bo Ningen, Art Brut, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Brawlers, Tellison, Helen Love, Waylayers, Get Inuit and more. Jack also curates stages at major UK festivals and writes for Alcopop! Records - 

Jack Clothier, founder of AIM award winning label, Alcopop Records, leads this exciting course for those interested in working in the record label business

Hear from one of our recent Record Label Business students | Jai Ramage


I took the Record Label course with Jack and it was hugely beneficial and taught me so much about the differences between indie labels and majors. Being on the course kickstarted me into taking on several projects and SMB have continued to be encouraging and supportive in that. Very grateful for all the information I received on the course, thanks Jack!


Topics Covered | Syllabus

  • What is a record label - it's functions and the key roles within them

  • The current record label landscape

  • Major labels and indie labels - the differences

  • A&R (Artist & Repertoire - functions and skills required

  • How to be an A&R agent

  • How to start a record label - ups and downs from someone who has run a record label successfully

  • Setting targets and goals at a record label – what will make you different

  • Registration, choosing a name and logo, trademarks and branding

  • Financing the label – find funding: affiliation, pressing and distribution deals, joint venture deals and production deals

  • Money matters and record keeping

  • The income streams of a label (sales, streaming, rights revenue, licensing, synchronisation, 360 degree income)

  • The expenses of your label (overheads, staff costs, taxes, MCPS bills, recording, production, advances, travel, manufacturing, artwork, videos, radio/TV/press promotion) 

  • Working with the collection agencies (PRS, MCPS, PPL and trade associations)

  • Legal affairs – choosing a lawyer, important points of a good contract, owning master copy, artist royalties, paying royalties, copyright protection and publishing

  • How to sign artists – what to look for in an artist, where to find artists and what makes your label attractive to them

  • How to release a record

  • A&R - Developing an artist and your relationship with them

  • Your team – press agents, radio pluggers, booking agents, distributors, manufacturers, managers and the artists themselves – the roles of each person, where and when to find them, and what they will expect from you

  • Physical: creating the physical product – manufacturing process, product formats, mastering, packaging inc. bar codes, costs, working with manufacturers, test copies and so on

  • Digital: the digital product – sales, streaming, digital stores, coding, presentation and branding 

  • A guide to physical and digital distribution –
    getting into stores and digital stores

  • Marketing and promoting – clever and low cost methods of promotion

  • Getting publicity – live shows, release parties, free music, street marketing, licensing and ‘getting creative’ – our expert in guerrilla marketing strategies

  • Your artists’ press kit – bio, images, video and press releases

  • Music PR – promoting your artists' music on the internet, print, TV and radio

  • Finding work and internships at record labels


FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get a course certificate? 

Upon completion, students will receive a Certificate of Completion, signed by the tutor and the school directors, in the post.

Do I need to provide anything? 

A pen and notepad is all you require! We also provide comprehensive notes throughout the course. You will need internet access and a web browser (Chrome/Firefox). Prior to the start date of your course you will receive a web link and a password to access the virtual classroom. 

I have more questions!
Call on 0207 078 4022 or email here and we'll be more than happy to advise you.

Who is the course suitable for?

This course is suitable for those that wish to start their own record label, improve their current label or wish to work for a record label in the future. It's also perfect for people already working at a record label, artists/managers looking to self-release music and anyone that enjoys finding and promoting new artists or has an interest in A&R work. You should be 18 years old or older. No previous experience is necessary.

Where does the course take place?

Until further notice, all of our courses will be taking place online, through our virtual classrooms. These online courses take place live, so you can interact with your tutor and other students in real-time! With high quality video and audio, live notes, quizzes and breakout group sessions - the virtual classroom provides an immersive learning experience, where ever you are in the world! 


Full Fee: £449

Enrol online via our secure booking system powered by Paypal.

Once you've enrolled we will send you a receipt and confirmation of your place. You'll also be sent a link and password to your virtual classroom prior to the course. Payment plan options are available - email us here to discuss. 

(Inc. VAT)

Or call +44 207 078 4022

Enrol | Secure Your Place Today

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Registered address | 27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AX, United Kingdom
Company Number: 10524000 | Registered in England and Wales | VAT ID 328443987 | +44 (0) 207 078 4022

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