Scott Orr Explains How You Can Start Your Own Indie Record Label for $0

Music industry expert Scott Orr has been producing, releasing and promoting albums for more than 10 years, and helping people launch their own indie record label for more than 5. He dives into how an indie record label differs from major labels, gives his thoughts on the Halsey vs. her record label dispute, debunks the myth of “making it big”, and more in this episode of The Business of Sound.

What do you picture when you think of a record company executive? A sweat-flopped, corporate fat cat riding in a stretch limo, smoking a cigar that he lit with dreams of buskers, writing out a contract stacked so heavily against a young pop star – that it should be illegal?


Well, we seem to be on the same page.

This is something you might expect at the major record labels. But not at independent labels – which seek to be the exact opposite of the big players. Indie labels put the MUSIC and the ARTIST at the forefront. That’s why they’re so close to Scott Orr’s heart.

Scott ( has been helping people start and run their own indie labels for the better part of five years through his company, Other Record Labels ( Scott offers everything from coaching calls and courses to sample recording contracts and business plans. And he knows the label game like the back of his hand – he’s been releasing his own albums and music from other artists through his label, Other Songs (, since 2010.

Scott joins Decibel’s Gigi Rodgers on The Business of Sound to break down what it’s like to run a record label, the keys to promoting a new artist & new album drop, what happens when artists and their labels don’t see eye to eye, the myth of ‘making it big,’ and the layout for an artist to get signed by a record label Listen or watch the full episode here:


Listen to the episode on Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, or Stitcher.
You can learn more about Other Record Labels here. Follow them on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. You can check out Scott and hear his music at his website.



  • An explanation of what the release schedule of an album should look like [2:10]
  • Scott breaks down why albums shouldn’t “die” after release day, and why a post-release campaign is a crucial part of
    promoting new music [7:20]
  • The kinds of social media content that resonate best with fans [9:00]
  • The reveal of the “numbers game” that can help artists find success in the long run [10:40]
  • Scott discusses artists’ relationships with the business side of the music industry [14:00]
  • A break down the difference between indie record labels and major record labels like Universal, Sony & Warner [18:00]
  • The standard “cut” most labels take, and how labels make money [20:30]
  • Weighing in on a spat between pop star Halsey and her record label, and what happens when an artist and label are at odds over what to do with a song or album [26:50]
  • Advice for artists looking to sign with a label and how to find the right fit [30:50]
  • Debunking the myth of ‘making it big overnight’ and what you ACTUALLY have to do to make in in the music biz [32:10]
  • An explanation on how you can start your own record label with $0 [37:50]
  • Scott reveals one of his biggest regrets when starting his own label [39:30]
  • Some of the goals indie record label founders can set and how they can measure success [43:00]
  • Breaking down why you shouldn’t give up on a fledgling business too quickly [49:40]
  • Expectations for those starting new labels [51:10]
  • Why 1% improvements are the key to success for any business [52:10]
  • Scott breaks down how he uses social media metrics to maximize profits [56:00]
  • The different kinds of people who might have an interest in starting their own record label [58:50]


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let us know in the comments.


Want to listen to an episode with a producer, writer, musician, AND singer that has gotten the nod from the likes of DJ Khaled and Cardi B? Have a listen to our conversation with future icon, Jay Diggs in which we discuss how to build a music career on social media, what a
mid-level pop star is, how music artists can use NFTs to their advantage, and much more.

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