Owning your own record label is an entrepreneurial business venture, and like all entrepreneurs, you are your own boss. Therefore, you set the requirements for the job. A college degree is not necessary, but a variety of different degrees can certainly help you succeed. Also, you might need a degree to gain experience in the field before starting your own label.
A degree in music is one possible educational path that leads to owning your own record label. A music degree teaches you subjects like music theory, music performance or music education. The knowledge you gain studying music will help you evaluate artist demos to find quality music and talented musicians. You can also start to build your network by meeting and hanging out with other musicians and future music business leaders in the degree program. Music degrees are available from many colleges and universities.
General Business Degree
A degree in business also can help you succeed as a record label owner. This degree provides the tools and knowledge necessary for the business side of owning a label, such as marketing your artists and ways to turn a profit on the albums or other products your label sells. You can earn a business degree with a concentration in entrepreneurship to focus on the skills needed to run your own business. The degree might also help you connect with investors and valuable assets or resources for running your record label.
Music Business Degree
Some schools, especially those with an emphasis on creative arts or music, offer a degree or courses in the music business. The program prepares you specifically for doing business in the music industry. Record label owners with little experience working in the music industry should strongly consider taking music business courses or earning a music business degree. The degree covers such subjects as artist management, recording and engineering, marketing, licensing, publishing and digital distribution, all of which are valuable areas of study for record label owners.
Sometimes, experience working in the music business is more important than a degree when it comes to owning your own record label. Working in the music industry helps you establish a reputation for success and meet people who can help your label succeed. It also allows you to get used to working with musicians, managers, promoters and sound engineers. Start as an intern at a record label, and work your way through various roles and departments to get a feel for how an established label operates. Take notes about what works and where improvement is needed in the business, and apply those lessons to your own label.