The Record Label Business Course

Evening and Weekend Options

SMB, Holland Park Gardens, London W14


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! 

Class Times: 18:30 to 21:00 (4 sessions)

Available Dates:

Option 1: Tuesdays | 03 to 24 Mar 2020 *

* Limited places remaining

Speak with a course advisor  | 0207 0784022

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 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



Read some reviews from Jack's recent students

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


Requirements | Who The Course Is For

Who is the course suitable for?

  • Those that wish to start their own record label or wish to work at a record label

  • Those that have started their own record label but
    need more guidance and support

  • People already working at a record label or looking for jobs at record labels

  • People looking to get internships at a record label, or current record label interns

  • Artists looking to self-release their own music

  • Those that enjoy finding and promoting new artists and have an interest in A&R work

  • Those wishing to add a label element to an existing business such as a publication, venue, promotions company etc. 

Are there any requirements? Will I get a certificate?

  • A passion for music and an interest in the music industry

  • A suitable level of English. We recommend an IELTS score of 4 or more. This is not compulsory. We do not require a certificate.

  • No previous experience in the music industry is required

  • 18 years and over

  • A note pad and pen for note taking during the course

Enrol | Secure Your Place Today


Tuition Fees: £449

(Inclusive of VAT)

Enrol online via our secure booking system powered by Paypal.

You will receive a confirmation by email upon booking.
Payment plan options are also available; for details email us here.

SMB The School of Music Business - music business courses in London. Music industry short courses taught by music business professionals. Evening classes including artist management, music PR, music journalism, music marketing, starting a record label and more.
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