Recording Artists: Can we talk #'s & $$$ here for a sec

  • If this isn't a taboo subject matter, I'd like to ask the following and would like to hear from those who are involved with such.

    How much does it actually cost to press vinyl even at the lowest ltd quantity (100-500)?
    How much extra do you charge to cover your costs?

    I fully understand that making music & selling it is a business, and that there is very little profit margin for pressing vinyl. I also understand and am so appreciative of those who still continue to release their music on vinyl for the die hard fans, even if they don't really make any money off it.

    So I ask you the beat creator, what makes you decide to go for it and press vinyl vs giving up on it and going the digital route? Do you believe in your art enough to risk the possibility of finacial loss? Is financial loss or gain at all an issue for you?

    As an avid vinyl buyer myself, and not knowing anything of the above, my thoughts would be "is it really that hard to sell your record to 100 people"? So why not press up some vinyl? Maybe it is difficult to sell all your stock? Is it just too much of a hassle?

    We've known that for the past few years, vinyl sales have surpassed cd sales, and this trend is still rising. Now, the focus seems to be of recording artists from major record labels. It seems to be contradictory for "dance music" recordings, and I wonder why that is such? A record is a record is a record! If you have a demographic of people supporting your work, which with the net is easy to figure out, why not give people what they want? Is it wrong to even put feeler questions out there like, "I am thinking of doing a limited 12" run, and would like to know who would be interested in buying such"?

    I recall when on the old forum DXJ put a feeler out there looking for pre-orders of an unreleased Radio Mars mix, which unfortunately never went through because of the lack of support; such a shame. Is support an issue? Do you the artist have that true sense of support from the fans?

    With the success of Streetsounds Nu-Electro 1 and it appears that the Mic Murphy/Melle Mel 12" is getting a quick turnover, it made me think about all these things and would love to hear your thoughts.

    I know I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting the invisible rockers 12", but truthfully as a CONSUMER, think it's taking way too long. Perhaps it's my own commercial thinking that a single should be released in conjunction with an album, ie SS NE1, and we are now soon to receive SS NE2. No disrespect IR 8)

    And lastly to just put it out there, if there was anything that should have been layed down on wax, it is DEBONAIRE #5 AND #6 b/c they are just rediculously, insanely, "freakin'" sick!!!

  • Pressing 100 0r 500 vinyls doesn't make a big difference. At that low numbers the price is mostly determined by the mastering, cutting and lithography costs. If you think in cost/record, 500 records are actually much cheaper than 100. How much things cost depends on what quality standards you want to have. I got mastering and cutting in London and Frankfurt. It's at least 200 Euros for a two track maxi single. Lithography, pressing of 500 copies, cover artwork licensing and the black&white sleeves than added about 1500 Euros. So we are talking about roughly 2000 Euros for 500 records, so lets say 4 Euros/record. Usually one gets abut 4,1 - 4,3 Euros/record from the distributor for every sold record. That means that you have to sell at least 400 to come close to break even.

    So much for the cost side of things. The real pain starts with distribution. Many of the big distros went bust and it has become tremendously hard to move stock. When you do techno, the local market might be enough, but with the electro scene being scattered around the globe, you have to be able to get them shipped around the globe as well. For small labels that doesn't happen anymore. I tried to team up with Das Drehmoment und Eintakmusik to form a distribution alliance which should have made us more attractive for overseas distros. Didn't help at all.
    So even if you have the records pressed, most likely you will en up unable to get them to the customers.

    From the sales side: At our best times we sold around 500-700 records. But that went down drastically until at average sales of 150 copies I pulled the plug. Talking to my distro, they told me that even estblished Techno labels are only selling about 300-500 copies. The vinyl market for niche music has broken down.

    So there are two things that are totally off balance with vinyl these days: The costs involved and the effort and heart you invest into something that only sells few copies. For me actually the latter was the more painful thing that ultimately lead to us going digital.

    Concerning speed of releases: Rule of thumb is that everything in music bizz takes twice as long as planned, no matter ho you plan it. For small labels that are more something like a hobby than a busyness getting things out all at once or with a strict schedule often is just not feasible.

    My two cents

    A.

  • About pressing: From our own experience things are more or less as Dr.schmidt mentioned them...so here is our own view... You have to go through Mastering,laquers,labels,sleeves and few more things..plus anything special that someone might wants on his vinyl...Price depends on the quality and of course on the number of the copies that you wanna press..the more the better. An other factor is shipping and distribution..how can the "consumer" recieve the vinyl in cheap price and of course in each side of the planet (at least thats in our mind).

    To be honest ,generally speaking by releasing vinyls nowdays you are not going to make money expect of few cases.We have speak with some independent electro artists and almost nobody had sell all of their stock, some of them didnt even cover the cost, but they keep releasing vinyls!
    So the obvious question is "then why to press a vinyl?"...my answer to this is:I am glad when tunes that i really like coming out in vinyl format..because i like vinyls and i buy vinyls...and if at least one person wants our tracks in vinyl we have to make him happy, exaclty as somebody else make me happy...thats my romantic view :) . Furthermore if everybody stopped releasing vinyls then what the DJs would be mixin n scratchin?And i am talkin about the real DJs!

    ...No problem with the artists that prefer releasing their music only in digital format...its their choice, we just see the things different.


    Now about our own release that you mentioned: We know that a lot of time had pass since we announce it BUT we dont want to release sth off-hand (i dont know if i use the correct word) i mean, we go through the things again and again, negotiations take a lot of time until we find exactly what we want and make everything perfect(we are 3 independent persons, with also our normal lives & obligations,not some BIG record label). We promise to release something quality and very special that will satisfie you and worth the long wait! ;D
    Ps: Note that we dont only have to cover the pressing plant experts but also we pay studio hours for rappin-vocals and other instruments.And believe me that all these years we have pay a lot . So by releasing this vinyl we are NOT going to make money we dont even kow if we are going to cover the pressing costs but we doing this because we love vinyls and i believe the result worths all these...

    About your commercial thoughts and the connection with the SS 1 release:No rush, We really dont care when its the "best" time for the market to release our material.The SS release is sth tottally different in comparison with ours.Vinyl will come out when everything is done properly as i mentioned before! :cylon:

    Sorry for my bad english,hope my answer covered you if not i will reply again!


    Peace,

    The Krew 8)

  • Quote from defelectrobeatsv3;27677


    And lastly to just put it out there, if there was anything that should have been layed down on wax, it is DEBONAIRE #5 AND #6 b/c they are just rediculously, insanely, "freakin'" sick!!!


    4 real!

  • man, feeling nostalgia 2nite.

    ive been going through my records and moving things around. i was flipping through all my new electro stuff, and thinking back how fun it was when i "discovered" that real electro/bass was still being recorded and available on 12".

    oh man, i spent many hours sampling on electrowax & buying too.
    my best new school experience was with the big box o' dominance electricity stuff (thx matt!),
    montone records and the rebirth of cut it up def, debonaire. man good times and freakin good records.

    i owe it o 4 records for discovering this world that i didnt know existed.
    1) KYPER'S "LET ME SEE YOU DANCE"
    2) DYNAMIK BASS SYSTEMS "ARABIAN DREAMS"
    and thanks to dj cryo
    3) ALDEN TYRELL "OBSESSION SCRTCH"
    4) VISIT VENUS "PLANET OF THE BREAKS - OMAR SANTANA EDIT"

    it was these tracks that gave me hunger to find more like this!

  • I did 333 copies + whites for 1.000€, solid quality and blacknwhite artwork label ... i sell at about 5 to the dealers/distro and 8 directly to the people ... if i were sure to sell at least a bit more of hundred copies id press 003 that is ready since this summer ...

    The Villains Inc 003 - Gab.Gato 'Reprogrammed Ep':
    ELECTRO EMPIRE (the ORIGINAL one) Rmx by BassJunkie
    THE VILLAINS INC Rmx by Max Durante
    S.N.A. Rmx by Dj Stingray 313
    A SCANNER DARKLY Rmx by Sinistarr (DnB Version!)

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