Future Archive Recordings – how we work
First off, thanks for considering Future Archive Recordings as a potential platform to release your music. We are releasing a very limited stream of music that we find truly special.
The purpose of this document is to help you understand the difference between self releasing, releasing with Future Archive, and releasing with a traditional label. Our goal is to make sure you make the best decision for YOU in regards to the growth and visibility of your art.
We are not exactly a record label. Future Archive Recordings is actually a collective of artists just like you. The platform came to existence because we wanted to bridge the benefits of self releasing and the benefits of releasing with a label, while trying to avoid the downsides of both. It’s more accurate to think of releasing with Future Archive as a way to self release with a team of collaborators. A team of other artists who will assist in the planning, the labor, and the process of releasing your music. Plus, the inherent cross pollination of fanbases achieved by numerous artists releasing under one brand.
Self releasing means you have the sole duty of organizing and executing all the labor associated with release. Planning, generating media, marketing, uploads, PR, artwork, building a store, social media, distribution, syncs, playlists, the list just builds and builds. A lot of artists are able to do this by building a team that they self fund to accomplish all of this labor, which gets expensive. Others accomplish self releasing by cutting corners and not fully accomplishing all that can be done. Releasing with Future Archive Recordings means you get a small team of artists to help you knock out this work!
Resources. Because externally Future Archive Recordings performs as a label, we are able to access resources that self releasing artists often have trouble accessing. For example, we have a distribution deal with AWAL, which is a company run by Kobalt. Rather than using Tunecore or Distrokid or a similar distribution partner that has a one time fee to host your files and doesn’t really work with you on your release, AWAL has a label services department and takes a percentage of revenue. They have a department focused on pitching to playlists on YouTube and Spotify, a department focused on developing relationships with DSP’s, which means they can potentially lock in featured spots and promotional opportunities with Spotify, Itunes, Apple Music, etc. Our rep at AWAL also assists in helping us plan our schedule and marketing rollout. Other resources we are focused on developing is an internal playlist pitch and PR campaign that we run ourselves, non-exclusive licensing representation for the entire catalogue for potential sync placements, and a complex store / fulfillment system that allows direct sales of numerous file types for digital downloads, and global shipping on physical merch.
Grass Roots Marketing. Another benefit at Future Archive Recordings is building a friendly team of artists who participate in helping each other grow. This means having a pool of artists to re-share your announcements, to post about your album, to reshare on soundcloud, to drop you into playlists on spotify, etc. We are looking for artists who want to participate in the general growth of the other FAR artists. The goal here is everyone’s profile growing together.
Future Archive Recordings vs. Record Labels. There are some pretty stark contrasts between us and a traditional record label. The first being deal structure. Record Labels these days typically take 50% of your revenue, and often take part of your publishing. FAR never takes publishing, and takes 30% of revenue rather than 50%. We are not trying to lock artists into situations that are not beneficial for them. Our terms are 5 year terms, we only commission on syncs we land during that term as a non-exclusive licensing agreement, and we do not try to influence the creative output of our artists. Many labels will accept certain tracks, decline others, tell you to come up with a better single for your album or they won’t release it, etc. The only feedback we look to offer is feedback associated with production quality, making sure the mixes and mastering are as best as possible. But creativity is purely artist driven.
Another difference is that labels typically have budgets they sink into releases. This is one of the ways that really places us as an option that exists somewhere in between self releasing & releasing with a label. Rather than throwing a budget at a release to hire a publicist or do complex marketing campaigns or to create an expensive music video, we do the labor in house. We have a graphics person who can crank out graphics and promo videos, and we do our own PR and Marketing. Taking 30% instead of 50% means that artists hopefully have more wiggle room in their own budgets to add bigger picture campaigns if they want to. Totally up to the artist. If they want to hire a traditional publicist to add to the team, great. If they want to create a full music video, great. We will work with whatever assets the artist choices to bring to the table, but what we bring to the table is in-house labor and focused teamwork. This is what allows us to cut our rate in half compared to traditional labels. It also allows the marketing strategy and campaigns to be artist driven rather than turning over your album and having no real input on how its rolled out into the marketplace.
As you may be picking up on at this point, this type of platform is really beneficial to a certain type of artist. An artist that is prepared to collaborate on marketing and strategy, prepared to do some of the work alongside us, and an artist who sees the benefit of collectively interacting with other artists. Artists that are already fairly aggressive and setup on social media, who have a foundation in place we can build off of. If you are looking for a totally hands off situation where you deliver an album and that’s it, we may not be the solution for you. If you have released with a traditional label and have found it hard to wrap your head around losing 50% of the income, and feel the lack of control and input you have on creativity and marketing to be frustrating, then this might be a good solution. If you have been self releasing but don’t feel your reach or resources are as strong as they could be, then we may be a good fit for you. It all really depends on who you are as an artist, and what your goals are.