Do you want to start record label business?

Are you thinking about starting music production company? A music production or a record label company is a trademark or brand associated with music videos and recordings. A record label company manages the production, manufacture, marketing, distribution, promotion, and copyright enforcement for the music recordings while also engaging itself with the development of new artists and talent sourcing.
The music industry is one of the biggest and most profitable industries since music is loved by nearly every person out there. But starting a business in this industry isn’t easy and there are a lot of things which need to be considered and addressed before this startup. In case, you don’t know how to start your own record label business, you can take help from this business plan written for a record label startup ‘R&N Entertainment.’
The first thing you must do is to make a comprehensive business plan for your startup. The business plan will help you in acquiring the license for your business and will also help you take important decisions for the startup. It will help you define your services, identify your target market, prepare your sales and marketing strategies, and develop a personnel and financial plan. Most importantly, it will help you acquire investors for your startup if you need any.

Executive Summary

2.1 The Business

R&N Entertainment will be an international record label which will manage the production, manufacture, marketing, distribution, promotion, and copyright enforcement for the music recordings.

2.2 Management

R&N Entertainment is a joint venture started by Randy Hilsly and Nash Jonson, whereby both parties have equally shared investment, shared ownership, shared governance, as well as shared returns and risks. Both Randy and Nash have served at executive positions in Warner Music Group, which is among the Big-Three Labels. Due to their extensive experience, the owners know how to write a business plan for a record label and how to start music production company.

2.3 Customers

With the advent of the internet, it has now become very easier for the record labels to enhance their range of operations and target a broader audience. We will be targeting a global audience and our customers will include people from all backgrounds, areas, religions, and colors.

2.4 Business Target

Our main business targets are as follows:

Record Label Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

3.1 Company Owner

R&N Entertainment is a joint venture started by Randy Hilsly and Nash Jonson, whereby both parties have equally shared investment, shared ownership, shared governance, as well as shared returns and risks. Both Randy and Nash have served at executive positions in Warner Music Group, which is among the Big-Three Labels.

3.2 Why the Business is being started

Both the owners of the R&N Entertainment share a common vision of bringing the music industry back to its past heights. The quality of music is getting deteriorated day-by-day due to many reasons. We, at R&N Entertainment, will ensure that the new generation gets the best of music, and also gets a touch of the contemporary classical music. With this shared mission in mind, the owners have created an ingenious record label business model which is meant to succeed and excel the competitors.

3.3 How the Business will be started

R&N Entertainment will be started in Houston in a leased location which was previously used as a restaurant. The facility requires a lot of work so that it can be converted into a recording studio and the company will hire a contractor for that purpose. In addition to the usual inventory, the company will procure professional headphones, microphones, track recorders, mixing consoles, reference monitors, keyboards, a music workstation, audio editing software, computers and other accessories. The financial experts have forecasted following costs needed to start a music production company:

Record Label Business Plan - Startup cost
The detailed startup requirements are given below:

Start-up Expenses 
Research and Development$32,750
Expensed Equipment$32,750
Start-up Assets$220,875
Cash Required$332,500
Start-up Inventory$32,625
Other Current Assets$232,500
Long-term Assets$235,000
Total Requirements$245,000
Start-up Expenses to Fund$151,875
Start-up Assets to Fund$123,000
Non-cash Assets from Start-up$18,750
Cash Requirements from Start-up$0
Additional Cash Raised$18,750
Cash Balance on Starting Date$21,875
Liabilities and Capital$0
Current Borrowing$0
Long-term Liabilities$0
Accounts Payable (Outstanding Bills)$0
Other Current Liabilities (interest-free)$0
Planned Investment$620,125
Investor 1$0
Investor 2$0
Additional Investment Requirement$0
Loss at Start-up (Start-up Expenses)$313,125
Total Funding$255,000

Services for customers

Before you think about how to make your own music production company, you must decide what services will you provide to the singers and musicians you will be contracting with so as to attract them towards your company. You must also consider what kind of music will you be providing to the audience that will guarantee sales and will add value to your company. This will also help you in deciding the record label business structure for your company that’s why it must be considered before starting your own recording studio.
R&N Entertainment will manage the production, manufacture, marketing, distribution, promotion, and copyright enforcement for the music recordings. The services of the company with reference to the revenue generation are categorized as follows:

  • Record Retail Sales: The company will distribute its records and albums to various music retail outlets located across the country. It will contribute the biggest chunk of our revenue after the revenue generated by online sales.
  • Online Record Sales: The company will engage in a large-scale sale of records and albums through digital channels and online platforms. Online record sales will be the biggest revenue generator for the company since sales trends are changing and most of the people prefer to buy online as compared to retail outlets.
  • Live Concerts: The company will also arrange concerts and events whereby the contracted singers and musicians will perform. The live concerts are being planned for two reasons, to generate sales and to promote the brand.
  • Contract Buy-outs: In the music industry, it is a usual trend that bigger labels buy the contracts of emerging and promising artists from the smaller labels. This contract buy-out rapidly generates a high revenue for the smaller and newly-emerging labels.

Marketing Analysis of music studio business

The most important component of an effective record label business plan is its accurate marketing analysis and a good music studio business plan can only be developed after this stage. If you are starting on a smaller scale, you can do marketing analysis yourself by taking help from this record label business plan sample or other sample record label business plans available online. If you are starting on a larger scale, it is always best to seek the counsel of marketing experts for developing a good recording studio business plan. The success or failure of a business totally depends upon its marketing strategy which can only be developed on the basis of accurate marketing analysis. Therefore, it must be considered before you develop your record company business plan.
R&N Entertainment acquired the services of marketing experts to carry out the marketing analysis for its music label business plan. The owners also went through various recording studio business plans available online before developing their own music production business plan.

5.1 Market Trends

For learning the market trends in this industry, you will have to carry out an in-depth research. You can take help from this record label business plan template or other record label business plans available on the internet. This record label business plan template free can be freely used for getting all industry and market trends, you should know to start a record label business plan. The record label industry is an older one but it spread widely in the 1990s, when the independent tables, home studios, and consumer recording technology became more common. The global revenue of the music industry started decreasing from 2002 due to many factors, the biggest one of which was the changing tides in the world of technology which enabled artists to release their tracks directly on the internet without the need of record labels. The industry kept dropping until 2013 when it was valued to be $15 billion, the lowest revenue recorded since 2002.
However, it again started increasing in magnitude and grew by 8.1% till 2017, making its value to be around $17.3 billion. This renewed growth was the result of record companies’ ongoing investment, not only in music artists but also in digital innovation that enriched fans’ experiences and harnessed technology like voice-controlled home speakers and similar devices. With the increasing digitalization, fans’ engagement with streaming and especially the paid subscription audio streaming also increased. The result was that digital revenues accounted for more than half (54%) of the revenue generated by the global recording industry. By the end of 2017, 176 million users were estimated to be paid subscribers and out of those 176 million, 64 million were added during the same year. Still, the total revenue generated by this industry was just 68.4% of what it was during its peak in 1999. These stats show the struggle, this industry has faced due to increased digitalization but, on the other hand, this digitalization can also prove a useful tool for record labels industry provided that use it wisely. If we were to summarize the whole thing, we can say that a record label startup can succeed only if it pays special attention to its strong online presence.

5.2 Marketing Segmentation

After you have identified the industry and market trends, you should now identify your target market and must observe how your target market is categorized into your customer groups. Identifying the target market segmentation is very important for music production company business plan since it helps in creating effective marketing strategies. And since the target market of a record label is usually the people living across the globe, the marketing segmentation is more or less the same for nearly all businesses in this industry. That’s why you can also have an idea about your target market segmentation from this record label business plan example or free record label business plan samples available online. A successful and efficient marketing strategy can only be developed after you completely know your potential customers hence you must pay special attention to this part of your music production studio business plan. Previously, when the internet wasn’t as popular as it is now, the record labels just relied on sales of recordings from the retail outlets and their target market used to be somewhat limited. But with the advent of the internet, it has now become very easier for the record labels to enhance their range of operations and target a broader audience. So, if a record label is based in the United States, its target market isn’t just restricted to the United States. Thanks to the internet, record labels can now target a global audience.
R&N Entertainment will also target a global audience, out of which, our experts have identified the following categories:

Record Label Business Plan - Marketing Segmentation

The detailed marketing segmentation of our target audience is as follows:

5.2.1 Digital Customers:

Our first and the most important group will be the customers which will be digitally linked to us. As mentioned earlier, we plan to target a global audience which is only possible by maintaining a strong online presence across all online platforms including company website, social media pages, the official app as well as online retailers like Amazon and Alibaba. Our digital customers can access our records by various means. Music files from the artists may be downloaded free of charge or for a fee that is paid via PayPal or another online payment system. Hard copy CDs can also be purchased by online retailers in addition to direct downloads. Digital sales contributed to more than half (54%) of the revenue generated by global record sales as of 2017, so this is the main area where we will focus our efforts. We will create special strategies for targeting our digital customers located across the globe.

5.2.2 Retail Customers:

Our second target group comprises of those customers who will buy our records from the retail outlets located across the United States. Initially, we will provide our records in the hard form, only in the United States but by the end of the second year, we hope to create a distribution network in Europe. This customer group will also generate a lot of revenue since music is loved by nearly every teen and adult in the United States.

5.2.3 Live Audience:

The third target group comprises the audience or customers who will attend our live events and concerts. We will arrange concerts on a regular basis in all major cities of the United States. Through these concerts, we not only aim to generate sales but we also aim to promote our artists and our brand. Although these live events will not directly create a lot of revenue they will indirectly do so by promoting us.
The detailed market analysis of our potential customers is given in the following table:

Market Analysis
Potential CustomersGrowthYear 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5CAGR
Digital Customers52%22,33432,34443,66552,54466,43210.00%
Retail Customers30%12,86714,43315,99917,56519,13115.32%
Live Audience18%8,3229,45510,65512,86714,43310.00%

5.3 Business Target

After the global recording market endured about 15 years of revenue decline, the companies in this industry are striving for fueling this recent return to growth and for ensuring that the artists receive fair value for music creation. Our main business targets to be achieved as milestones over the course of next three years are as follows:

  • To become the best record label in Houston within next three years of launch by providing high-quality services
  • To achieve the net profit margin of $10k per month by the end of the first year, $15k per month by the end of the second year, and $25k per month by the end of the third year
  • To balance the initial cost of the startup with earned profits by the end of the second year
  • To increase the retail distribution setup and target European market by the end of the second year

These business targets are extremely realistic and can be achieved by creating engaging ways for fans to access music on multiple services and platforms.

5.4 Product Pricing

This sample business plan for a record label will also help you in deciding the product pricing strategy for your record label company. After considering the market demands, we have priced our services in the similar ranges as of our competitors. This pricing strategy has been carefully selected considering many factors, especially the competition provided by the established record labels, especially the Big-Three Labels of the United States.


After you have identified the market demand, market trends, and the potential customers of the startup, you must now define an effective strategy for attracting those customers toward you. Like marketing analysis, sales strategy is also an important component of a good dental business plan and it must be properly developed before thinking about how to write a business plan for a record label.

6.1 Competitive Analysis

The record label industry is one of the most competitive industries in the United States and it is nearly impossible for a startup to survive in such environment unless it has a clear competitive edge over its competitors. Therefore you must consider it before you start your own recording studio. Our main competitive advantage will be our talented artists which will be sought by proper talent sourcing methods. We will also attract the famous artists by making “360” deals with them which will give us rights and percentages to artist’s touring, merchandising, and endorsements. In exchange for these rights and for ensuring the maximum retainage of good artists, we will pay higher percentages of CD sales, will have more patience with artist development, and will give higher advance payments to artists.

6.2 Sales Strategy

After carrying out a detailed analysis, our experts came up with the following brilliant ideas to advertise and sell ourselves.

  • We will ensure a strong presence across all online platforms including company website, social media pages, the official app as well as online retailers like Amazon and Alibaba.
  • We will advertise ourselves in magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and social media.
  • We will arrange free concerts for the initial three months of our launch so as to promote ourselves.
  • Sponsor relevant TV shows and radio programs.
  • Place adverts on both print and electronic media platforms.

6.3 Sales Monthly

Our monthly sales are forecasted as follows:

Record Label Business Plan - Sales Monthly

6.4 Sales Yearly

Our yearly sales are forecasted as follows:

Record Label Business Plan - Sales Yearly

6.5 Sales Forecast

Our forecasted sales are given below.

Record Label Business Plan - Unit Sales

Sales Forecast   
Unit SalesYear 1Year 2Year 3
Online Record Sales1,887,0302,680,3202,588,240
Record Retail Sales802,370815,430823,540
Live Concerts539,3207702301,002,310
Contract Buy-outs265,450322,390393,320
TOTAL UNIT SALES3,494,1704,588,3704,807,410
Unit PricesYear 1Year 2Year 3
Online Record Sales$140.00$150.00$160.00
Record Retail Sales$600.00$800.00$1,000.00
Live Concerts$700.00$800.00$900.00
Contract Buy-outs$650.00$750.00$850.00
Online Record Sales$2,149,800$2,784,000$3,383,200
Record Retail Sales$120,050$194,500$268,500
Live Concerts$50,110$71,600$93,000
Contract Buy-outs$139,350$194,600$249,850
Direct Unit CostsYear 1Year 2Year 3
Online Record Sales$0.70$0.80$0.90
Record Retail Sales$0.40$0.45$0.50
Live Concerts$0.30$0.35$0.40
Contract Buy-outs$3.00$3.50$4.00
Direct Cost of Sales
Online Record Sales$989,300$1,839,000$2,679,700
Record Retail Sales$66,600$119,900$173,200
Live Concerts$17,900$35,000$52,100
Contract Buy-outs$19,400$67,600$115,800
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales$1,294,100$1,699,400$2,104,700

Personnel plan

Preparing personnel plan is also an important to start music production company so make sure to duly consider it before thinking about how to start your own recording studio. The personnel plan of our company is as follows.

7.1 Company Staff

Randy will act as the General Manager of the company while Nash will act as the chief financial officer. In addition to that, the company will initially hire following people:

  • 3 Accountants for maintaining financial and other records
  • 5 Sales Executives responsible for marketing and discovering new ventures
  • 5 Recording Artists for recording the tracks of musicians
  • 10 Technical Assistants for providing technical support throughout the process
  • 4 Assistants for undertaking various day-to-day tasks.
  • 4 Social Media Assistant for managing the company’s social media pages.
  • 4 SEO/SEM specialists for ensuring a strong online presence across all platforms.
  • 2 Customer Representatives for interacting with customers
  • 4 Editors for editing the audio/video recordings
  • 10 Distributors/ drivers for distributing the recordings to the retail outlets located across the country
  • 3 Cleaners for maintaining a clean environment

All the employees will be hired by following strict testing procedures and will also be trained before onboarding.

7.2 Average Salary of Employees

The following table shows the forecasted data about the salaries of the employees for the next three years. These salaries are just an estimate and are also expected to deviate but the overall expenses will be more or less the same.

 Personnel Plan   
Year 1Year 2Year 3
Sales Executives$45,000$50,000$55,000
Recording Artists$550,000$650,000$750,000
Technical Assistant$410,000$440,000$480,000
Social Media Assistant$145,000$152,000$159,000
SEO/SEM Specialists$50,000$55,000$60,000
Customer Representatives$87,000$94,000$101,000
Distributors/ Drivers$152,000$159,000$166,000
Total Salaries$562,000$599,000$646,000

Financial Plan

Just like the other plans, you must also prepare a detailed financial plan covering all financial aspects of your startup. You can also take help from this sample business plan for record label. The financial plan should craft a detailed map of the costs of startup, inventory, payroll, equipment, rent, utilities and how these costs will be covered by the earned profits. Also, make sure to carry out a detailed profit and loss analysis before getting to think about how to start your own music production company. Our financial plan outlines the development of the company over the next three years and is specifically developed to achieve the company’s short-term as well as the long-term objectives.

8.1 Important Assumptions

 General Assumptions   
Year 1Year 2Year 3
Plan Month123
Current Interest Rate10.00%11.00%12.00%
Long-term Interest Rate10.00%10.00%10.00%
Tax Rate26.42%27.76%28.12%

8.2 Brake-even Analysis

Record Label Business Plan - Brake-even Analysis

 Brake-Even Analysis 
Monthly Units Break-even5530
Monthly Revenue Break-even$159,740
Average Per-Unit Revenue$260.87
Average Per-Unit Variable Cost$0.89
Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost$196,410

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

 Pro Forma Profit And Loss   
Year 1Year 2Year 3
Direct Cost of Sales$15,100$19,153$23,206
TOTAL COST OF SALES$15,100 $19,153 $23,206
Gross Margin$293,969$366,781$439,593
Gross Margin %94.98%94.72%94.46%
Sales and Marketing and Other Expenses$1,850$2,000$2,150
Leased Equipment$0$0$0
Payroll Taxes$34,510$40,726$46,942
Total Operating Expenses$188,766$220,744$252,722
Profit Before Interest and Taxes$105,205$146,040$186,875
Interest Expense$0$0$0
Taxes Incurred$26,838$37,315$47,792
Net Profit$78,367$108,725$139,083
Net Profit/Sales30.00%39.32%48.64%

8.3.1 Profit Monthly

Record Label Business Plan - Profit Monthly

8.3.2 Profit Yearly

Record Label Business Plan - Profit Yearly

8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

Record Label Business Plan - Gross Margin Monthly

8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

Record Label Business Plan - Gross Margin Yearly

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

Record Label Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow

 Pro Forma Cash Flow   
Cash ReceivedYear 1Year 2Year 3
Cash from Operations
Cash Sales$40,124$45,046$50,068
Cash from Receivables$7,023$8,610$9,297
SUBTOTAL CASH FROM OPERATIONS$47,143 $53,651 $59,359
Additional Cash Received
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received$0$0$0
New Current Borrowing$0$0$0
New Other Liabilities (interest-free)$0$0$0
New Long-term Liabilities$0$0$0
Sales of Other Current Assets$0$0$0
Sales of Long-term Assets$0$0$0
New Investment Received$0$0$0
SUBTOTAL CASH RECEIVED$47,143 $53,651 $55,359
ExpendituresYear 1Year 2Year 3
Expenditures from Operations
Cash Spending$21,647$24,204$26,951
Bill Payments$13,539$15,385$170,631
SUBTOTAL SPENT ON OPERATIONS$35,296 $39,549 $43,582
Additional Cash Spent
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out$0$0$0
Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing$0$0$0
Other Liabilities Principal Repayment$0$0$0
Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment$0$0$0
Purchase Other Current Assets$0$0$0
Purchase Long-term Assets$0$0$0
SUBTOTAL CASH SPENT$35,296 $35,489 $43,882
Net Cash Flow$11,551$13,167$15,683
Cash Balance$21,823$22,381$28,239

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

 Pro Forma Balance Sheet   
AssetsYear 1Year 2Year 3
Current Assets
Accounts Receivable$12,613$14,493$16,373
Other Current Assets$1,000$1,000$1,000
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS$201,259 $237,468 $273,677
Long-term Assets
Long-term Assets$10,000$10,000$10,000
Accumulated Depreciation$12,420$14,490$16,560
TOTAL ASSETS$198,839 $232,978 $267,117
Liabilities and CapitalYear 1Year 2Year 3
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable$9,482$10,792$12,102
Current Borrowing$0$0$0
Other Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Long-term Liabilities$0$0$0
TOTAL LIABILITIES$9,482 $10,792 $12,102
Paid-in Capital$30,000$30,000$30,000
Retained Earnings$48,651$72,636$96,621
TOTAL CAPITAL$189,360 $222,190 $255,020
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL$198,839 $232,978 $267,117
Net Worth$182,060$226,240$270,420

8.6 Business Ratios

 Ratio Analysis    
Year 1Year 2Year 3Industry Profile
Sales Growth4.35%30.82%63.29%4.00%
Percent of Total Assets
Accounts Receivable5.61%4.71%3.81%9.70%
Other Current Assets1.75%2.02%2.29%27.40%
Total Current Assets138.53%150.99%163.45%54.60%
Long-term Assets-9.47%-21.01%-32.55%58.40%
TOTAL ASSETS100.00%100.00%100.00%100.00%
Current Liabilities4.68%3.04%2.76%27.30%
Long-term Liabilities0.00%0.00%0.00%25.80%
Total Liabilities4.68%3.04%2.76%54.10%
NET WORTH99.32%101.04%102.76%44.90%
Percent of Sales
Gross Margin94.18%93.85%93.52%0.00%
Selling, General & Administrative Expenses74.29%71.83%69.37%65.20%
Advertising Expenses2.06%1.11%0.28%1.40%
Profit Before Interest and Taxes26.47%29.30%32.13%2.86%
Main Ratios
Total Debt to Total Assets2.68%1.04%0.76%67.10%
Pre-tax Return on Net Worth66.83%71.26%75.69%4.40%
Pre-tax Return on Assets64.88%69.75%74.62%9.00%
Additional RatiosYear 1Year 2Year 3
Net Profit Margin19.20%21.16%23.12%N.A.
Return on Equity47.79%50.53%53.27%N.A.
Activity Ratios
Accounts Receivable Turnover4.564.564.56N.A.
Collection Days9299106N.A.
Inventory Turnover19.722.5525.4N.A.
Accounts Payable Turnover14.1714.6715.17N.A.
Payment Days272727N.A.
Total Asset Turnover1.841.551.26N.A.
Debt Ratios
Debt to Net Worth0-0.02-0.04N.A.
Current Liab. to Liab.111N.A.
Liquidity Ratios
Net Working Capital$120,943$140,664$160,385N.A.
Interest Coverage000N.A.
Additional Ratios
Assets to Sales0.450.480.51N.A.
Current Debt/Total Assets4%3%2%N.A.
Acid Test23.6627.0130.36N.A.
Sales/Net Worth1.681.290.9N.A.
Dividend Payout000N.A.