Recording Studio and Label Service
Dr. Daniel Baldwin, D.M.A.
Polyphony Records: A Subsidiary of Polyphony Artist Management, LLC
Phone: (620) 805-9555
The streaming of classical music has exploded into a thriving industry within the music business the past few years. In the past few years, these recordings have seen tremendous growth over the past few years starting at $60 million in 2016, it jumped to $98 million in 2017 and then $140 in 2018, according to Statista.
In a world that is largely shut down to live performance, the recording industry becomes the way the world creates its new aural art. Already a $15 billion dollar industry, according to IFPI statistics, this new normal makes now a very smart time to jump into this industry with both feet.
What makes a recording studio successful is having a niche specialty, but not being limited to only that specialty. If a studio is smart, it will strategically position its studio brand as an avenue for all media possibilities within its niche specialty, such as film and video game scoring, concert videos, wedding services, live performance streaming, voice over services, live sound, etc. and market these services worldwide.
The goal of Polyphony Records is to become a one stop shop for anyone looking to record, perform, or promote classical music. Our studio will be fully equipped with the latest technology in the recording studio industry and will be located in the heart of the country – Council Bluffs, Iowa –just a few minutes from the airport in Omaha, Nebraska. We will be positioned to work with a wide range of clientele from middle school students looking to record for solo and ensemble contest to the world’s greatest soloists to studio film scores and everything in between.
Polyphony Records, as a local recording studio as well as an international recording studio, will not be limited exclusively to the recording of orchestral and chamber music. Our secondary goal will be to provide services that
will be of benefit to the community at large such as DJ services, wedding packages, live sound services, voice over services, corporate functions, and merchandizing and distribution services.
Our business goal is to work toward becoming the taste makers of the classical music world. Not only do we intend, as part of our ten year plan, to work toward a leading recording studio in our market, but to begin opening new studio locations on the East and West coast as well as launching a string of radio stations to further promote the music we record.
We are not naïve to the fact that building a world class recording studio from scratch requires substantial startup capital for the purchase of the latest technology needed for Polyphony Records to compete on the world stage. This is why we have very well prepared plans for steady cash flow from project development with high level performers.
We can say with extreme confidence that we will have robust profit margin and are ready to make our presence known in the industry. We will ensure this through steady and consistent growth from the promotion and marketing of each of our offered services.
I pride myself on my ability to work well with others, cultivating a working environment that promotes new ideas, positive interaction, competitive salaries, regular trainings, and a safe and professional work space guided by strong professional ethics that will hold our personnel to the highest standards of professionalism.
Polyphony Records is owned by Dr. Daniel Baldwin, who has 20 plus years’ experience in the classical music world as a composer and teacher of audio engineers as well as experience managing Polyphony Artist Management.
Products and Services
Polyphony Records will offer a variety of services within the recording studio and music production industry, not only in the United States, but the world over. Our intention is to market both to our community and region, but also on a national and international scale through project development initiatives and all available contracted work available by US business laws.
Here are just a few of our services:
· Music Recording Services
· Sound Production
· Studio Sessions
· Live Sound Services
· Label Services
· DJ and Wedding Services
· Recording and Production of Soundtracks
· Voice Over Services
· Project Development Services
· Videographer Services
Mission and Vision Statement
· Our vision is to become the world’s leading classical music label and recording studio.
· Our mission is to build a world class recordings studio with the latest and leading technology in an effort to become the preferred choice for the recording of classical music industry and entertainment industry through competitive pricing, products, and professionalism.
The success of any business is largely dependent upon the organization and business structure as well as the people filling specific key roles within the business. Polyphony Records will be starting from a firm foundation built upon a solid business plan, structure, and the hiring of competent go getters excited to fulfill the mission and vision of our business.
The fact we will be looking to compete on the world stage immediately upon opening will necessitate the immediate hiring of key personnel on a full time basis. Other roles can filled by part time associates, interns, and contracted out until such time that the business builds to a point in can support each of these roles in house. We will be working very hard to ensure that we attract the right people with the right mindset to help us achieve our business goals and objectives ahead of schedule.
Below is the business structure that we will begin with upon opening Polyphony Records:
· Chief Executive Officer/Administrator
· Entertainment Lawyer
· Studio Manager
· Music/Record Producer
· Sound/Recording Engineer
· HR Manager/Accounting
· Marketing/Sales Executive and Project Manager
Chief Executive Officer (Daniel Baldwin):
· Recruits and oversees new hires, training, coaching, discipline, planning, accountability, appraising results, developing incentives, and developing culture for idea and information sharing.
· Providing direction and leadership for the business.
· Development and implementation of the business strategy, mission, vision, and overall direction.
· Responsible for the signing of documents and checks on behalf of the business.
· Evaluates the success of the business.
Entertainment Lawyer (On Retainer):
· Responsible for drawing up contracts and other legal documents.
· Advise artists and business of any possible and/or imminent issues.
· Handles all matters associated with case preparation.
· Provides organization for all legal matters associated with the business.
· Keeps abreast of past and currently changing entertainment laws.
Studio Manager (Full Time Hire):
· Responsible for tracking hours during all project sessions.
· Responsible for managing and maintaining studio and equipment.
· Responsible for overseeing physical cd production.
· Responsible for oversight of editing/mixing/mastering projects.
· Responsible for overseeing studio setup for any and all projects assigned.
· Responsible for pursuit and oversight of DJ assignments.
· Responsible for pursuit and oversight of Live Sound assignments.
· Responsible for pursuit and oversight of wedding services.
· Responsible for oversight of part time engineers and interns.
· Responsible for oversight and setup of videographer services.
· Handles any other responsibilities as assigned by Chief Executive Officer.
Music/Record Producer (Daniel Baldwin):
· Responsible for oversight of recording sessions.
· Responsible for pursuit and development of studio projects.
· Serving as session producer as needed.
· Production and/or oversight of the creation of new music for artists such as, but not limited to, jingles, film scores, concert music, etc.
· Oversight of team that selects songs/albums to be submitted for awards and promotions.
· Responsible for artwork for physical/digital album releases.
· Responsible for organization of reception and care of clientele and guest artists.
Sound/Recording Engineer (Full Time Hire/Part Time Hires):
· Responsible for any and all recording, editing, mixing, mastering, and physical cd production as assigned by the chief executive or studio manager.
· Responsible for the creation of beats and sounds for any and all projects/clients as directed.
· Handling of any and all DJ and/or live sound events as directed.
· Responsible for traveling for any and all recording sessions.
Accounting/HR (Full Time Hire/Part Time Hires):
· Responsible for overseeing HR tasks such as new hire paperwork and organization of personnel and client documents and paperwork.
· Maintains office supplies and equipment.
· Responsible for arranging travel, meetings, appointments.
· Responsible for keeping up with licenses, policies, compliance, and taxes.
· Prepare financial reports, budgets, and financial statements.
· Responsible for financial management, ledger accounting, financial reporting, risk analysis, and financial transactions.
· Serve as internal auditor and handle external audits.
· Handle organization and distribution of royalties and statements.
· Responsible for administering payroll.
Marketing/Sales Executive and Project Manager (Full Time Hire):
· Responsible for organization of reception and care of clientele and guest artists.
· Responsible for pursuit and development of special studio projects.
· Responsible for pursuit, marketing, and promotion of all business services.
· Responsible for marketing and promotion of albums.
· Identifies and pursues new partners, business opportunities, development leads, and assures the completion of any and all projects.
· Communicate with clients, customers, and artists to ensure success of project. Build client interest in business services.
· Communicate and advocate for customer needs.
· Develops and executes new plans for expansion and increased sales and growth.
· Documents all customer contact and information.
· Provides personalized customer service via email and phone calls.
· Handling and oversight of all digital releases.
· Handles all merchandizing and distribution of cd’s as well as any other merchandise developed by the business.
· Provide marketing and promotional assistance to special project clientele.
· Pursuit of repeating service contracts.
· Handles any other responsibilities as assigned by Chief Executive Officer.
The trend in the recording industry is for most successful recording studios to not only have their niche specialty within the industry, but focus on providing high quality recording equipment and personnel. In a time when there is less and less amateur recording revenue for studios, due to the rising quality of home recording software, a focus on the higher level professional musician looking to compete on the world stage as well as creatively recreating themselves to compete in other markets on a regular basis.
Our target markets will be professional musicians and the entertainment industry. This will include providing composers with opportunities to have their pieces recorded, performers wanting opportunities to record with high quality groups, and the top one percent looking for further paid performance opportunities. We will also be pursuing recording contracts with large professional organizations, entertainment companies, and individuals, schools, and small businesses to generate revenue.
Below is a list of the types of people and organizations to whom we will be specifically marketing our services:
· Professional Musicians (from touring artists to freelance)
· Professional Organizations (orchestras, ensembles)
· Entertainment Companies (film, TV, radio, video games, audio books)
· Community Engagement (DJ, weddings, schools, churches, live sound)
We are aware that there will be competition, even in the classical recording and film music marketplace. What will give us an advantage over our competitors is our high level equipment and personnel, a vast array of services available for hire, the experience of the owner who has 20 years of experience as a professional musician in this field, and our direct to musician approach. More importantly, our pricing will be extremely difficult to beat, particularly film/game scoring. We have access to a professional orchestra with high level musicians open to and excited by our goal to offer high level film score recordings at a rate that most orchestras cannot compete with.
Most importantly, the high quality professionals we hire will be well taken care of. Happy employees and musicians will be not only willing, but inspired to do their best work and help create art that rivals the greatest recordings of our time.
Sales and Marketing Strategy
As we will be a service based business, we will be recruiting highly qualified individuals that will be trained to meet the goals of our business model. These individuals will ensure our product is highly competitive in the world market as well as being continually engaged in the pursuit of projects, contracts, and clientele.
Our business goals are to build our studio business to become the number one classical music label and studio in our business, become the number one film and entertainment music studio in our business, and become a number one studio in the Omaha area.
We will be prepared to use the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clientele:
· Introduce our business to the greater classical community via a social media campaign on multiple sites.
· Advertisements in all relevant periodicals as well as radio advertisements.
· Attend all relevant International and local conventions, symposiums, seminars, camps, and expos.
· Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clientele.
· Direct market to corporations, musicians, organizations, and individuals.
· Project development campaigns.
· Increase visibility through podcasts, internet search engine development, and strategic internet advertisements.
Sources of Income
It will be a priority for Polyphony Records to be established with the purpose of maximizing profits in the recording studio as well as through outreach projects that will attract business from various revenue markets within our field. We will be working to generate income by offering the following services, including but not limited to:
· Music Recording, editing, mixing mastering, and single/album release.
· Sound production.
· Studio sessions.
· Project Development.
· Soundtrack services for film, TV, voice over, audio books, and video games.
· DJ services.
· Wedding Packages.
· Videography and streaming services.
· Streaming royalties from label releases.
· Live Sound services for concerts, theater, events, meetings, etc.
· Album marketing services.
· Merchandising and Distribution (cd’s, dvd’s, sheet music, t shirts, etc.).
· Booking and consulting services.
· Transfer services (reel to reel and 8 track to cd).
The beauty of the music and film industry is that there is and will always be demand for all types of music. Considering this, there will always be need for top studios to record that music. The better the equipment, personnel, and facilities the more attractive that studio will be to top artists looking to record. Add to this the inclusion of many various additional services and it is easy to see each source of revenue adding up to a competitive comprehensive whole.
We will be positioned to not only take on a prominent role as a premium recording studio and label within our industry. However, we will also be well positioned to be a prominent recording studio within our community. We are quite optimistic that we will meet and exceed our set revenue targets.
Upon examination of the current recording market in the classical music field as well as forecasted revenue from the entertainment industry as well as our additional services, we have been able to formulate a minimum sales projection. This projection is based on considerations such as location, pandemic limitations, and other factors related to a record label/studio start up in the United States:
· First Year Profit Margin: $180,000.
· Second Year Profit Margin: $300,000.
· Third Year Profit Margin: $450,000.
· Fourth Year Profit Margin: $650,000.
· Fifth Year Profit Margin: $950,000.
Please Note: This projection is based on the assumptions that there won’t be any extended major economic shut downs or further economic downturns. This forecast model was made under the minimum assumption that we will only be able to secure one client/project per month within each service offered. The above projection could be lower if shut downs are required or higher with successful marketing and promotion.
Our pricing strategies will vary from service to service. We will charge per hour rates for those wishing to pop in for short recording (music or voice over) sessions as well as flat daily rates for those doing larger scale projects. Those rates will be kept track of by the producer who will be in charge of ensuring that client targets are met. Those hourly rates will be in line with what most studios charge around the Omaha area.
Flat fees will be charged for specific services such as studio organized projects, project development, live sound projects, wedding services, videographer services, marketing services, and some DJ services.
Studio projects and specialized project development will be set to premium pricing plans. Other services such wedding services, live sound services, videographer services, marketing/distribution services, DJ services, film score and recording services, concert recording services, and other services like this would be based more on discounted pricing in an effort to attract more clientele.
Overall, aside from our premium services, we will be working to keep our fees slightly below the market rate for our clients by keeping our overhead low and collecting payment for services in advance.
Sample Premium Service Pricing
Project: Prominent Brass Quintet Cd Recording
Target Clientele: Composers who have written brass quintet pieces.
Expenses: Guest artist rates; $1500 per day (four days): $6000.
Food, Lodging, Accommodations for guest artists: $5000.
Full Time Engineers and Producer: $5000.
Food and Entertainment for All Artists (covered by studio): $5000.
Venue Rental: $2000.
Digital Release and Physical CD Production: $5000.
Studio Fee/Project Development Services: $8000.
Project Total Costs to Clientele for complete project: $40,000.
Total Cost to Individual Participating Composers: $750 per minute of music.
For premium projects, we believe we can eventually schedule as many as four or more of these per month throughout the year and will be successful in hiring the most successful artists in the world for these projects. These high caliber artists will attract composers and other artists to these projects. We already have agreements in place with a prominent brass quintet, a prominent New York based Chamber Orchestra, and are currently in negations with one of the great, tier one, orchestras in the United States. We believe we can also set up these premium projects for individuals wishing to fundraise to work with these people and ensembles.
Sample Pricing for Flat Fee, Non Premium Service
Project: DJ Services.
Target Clientele: Proms, weddings, parties, dances, events.
Expenses: DJ/MC personnel; approximately 50% of the rate charged to client.
Equipment Insurance; $25 per month.
Music Streaming; $20 per month.
Cost Options to Clients:
For crowds of between 0 and 99 or beyond with standard equipment:
· Per hour for parties without set time: $200 (two DJ’s, $300).
· 2 Hour prom/wedding/dance/party: $350 (two DJ’s, $500).
· 3 Hour prom/wedding/dance/party: $450 (two DJ’s, $650).
· 4 Hour prom/wedding/dance/party: $500 (two DJ’s, $750).
· 5 Hour prom/wedding/dance/party: $600 (two DJ’s, $900).
· 6 Hour prom/wedding/dance/party: $750 (two DJ’s, $1100).
· 7 Hour prom/wedding/dance/party: $900 (two DJ’s, $1350).
· 8 Hour prom/wedding/dance/party: $1000 (two DJ’s, $1500).
For gigs where extra equipment (extra or bigger speakers, karaoke) or special effects (lighting, staging, games), add $50 per hour. For extra consumables (smoke, bubbles) as well as extra equipment, add $75 per hour. For events further than 30 miles away from the home office, add $.50 per mile.
We believe we will have multiple DJ’s active weekly, even during the pandemic. Once the pandemic resolves, we believe we will need to have as many as ten (10) DJ carts available for overlapping weekend events, just in our area. We will begin with four and invest in more on an as needed basis.
Polyphony Records will be set up to take all in advance payments by whatever payment methods are most convenient for our clientele. We know that, in today’s world, money is transferred in a variety of ways. Here are just a few we are already set up for:
· Bank Transfer.
· Bank Draft.
· Check/Money Order.
· Credit and Debit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express).
· Online Transfer Services (PayPal, Cash App, Venmo, PopMoney).
Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We will be looking to work with our new sales and marketing hire to plan a publicity and advertising campaign strategy specifically to advertise strategically to our target markets. Here are a few initial platforms we are likely to use to promote and advertise for Polyphony Records:
· Strategic Print Media.
· Strategic Radio Advertisements.
· Online Streaming Advertisements (YouTube, Spotify, etc.).
· Social Media Advertisement and Engagement (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
· Maximize Search Engine to promote our website.
· Brand all Albums, Company Vehicles, etc. with the company logo.
· Direct Contact/Invitation and Word of Mouth.
We have already begun working out deals with high level artists for premium development projects. We already have deals in place with the New York Chamber Players and the Gaudete Brass Quintet. We are currently in talks with the Chicago Symphony and management teams for multiple world renowned solo artists for upcoming initial development projects. We are very confident there will be great interest for buy in to work with these individuals and groups.
We have begun formulating a very competitive pricing plan(s) to market to film and entertainment companies. We see a large part of our future business coming from the areas of film score recording, video game score recording, sound production, and voice over. We will be rolling this out to these large film companies very soon.
Five and Ten Year Plan
It is our goal to be at a place at the end of five years that we have firmly established ourselves as a leader in our market. In five years, our goal is to have increased our full time staff from three full time personnel (including myself) to five full time personnel to include a full time studio manager, audio engineer, marketing and project manager, HR/Accounting, and myself as producer and chief executive officer. Also, at the end of five years, we will be looking to add a Radio Station to our marketing strategy. For a small startup (less than $50,000), this will allow us to promote our products and services to our area, as well as online, 24/7.
Our ten year plan involves a number of areas of expansion. First, we will be looking to expand into a new region. At that time, it will be our goal to open at least one new office, equal to our original home office (at least three full time employees to start), at a location either on the East or West coast (or both). This will allow us to spread into other regions, tapping into new markets, and boost our radio broadcasts to a more national audience. We, further, will be looking to add three additional full time employees to the home office (a full time radio station manager, a third full time audio engineer, and a music producer/office manager) as well as additional part time assistance to handle small recording endeavors as well as the organization of our physical Cd library.
At that point, as we expect to be a world leader in the film score recording industry and will have developed a great many contacts, we will also be looking to expand our Videography equipment and, combined with our film scoring services, launch a small film company, Polyphony Films, which will facilitate and promote the creation of music videos, documentaries and independent films, TV shows, movies, and other filming and broadcast initiatives.
We believe this is the point at which our business will really take off.
We further believe this will give a tremendous boost to the artist management business and, in turn, provide additional business revenue for the recording studio. Access to discounted premium recording benefits will be very attractive to our Polyphony Artists, which will provide steady business to the studio business (i.e. offering Polyphony Artists annual discounted digital releases/Cd releases and encourage those individuals to pay for studio time to record those digital releases with our personnel and facilities). We currently have seven clients on the artist management roster and can see that number expanding exponentially upon the studio grand opening (we will be pushing to increase that number closer to 70 in ten years, each paying a monthly membership fee), providing an immediate roster of clientele to keep our studios and engineers busy and profitable.
Most importantly, we will have our investors completely paid back, with a twenty five percent profit on their investment, inside of ten years.
Start Up Costs
The total cost involved with setting up a world class recording business like ours, thanks to modern technology, is much less expensive than it once was. The main expenses will involve the purchase of high end equipment, studio setup, marketing initiatives, and the hiring of high quality personnel.
Regarding equipment, for example, the cost of good microphones can vary from $100 to $5000 for top of the line equipment. We will need at least 25 various studio microphones with cables, mic stands, etc. We will also need multiple digital mixer boards; one or two stationary mixers for the studio and several portable digital mixer boards for recording sessions in other locations. A top of the line mixer board runs about $50,000. A portable mixer can be significantly less (around $5000). Each of these will need to be equipped with laptops, external hard drives, etc., as well as a small to medium sized server data storage system. We will also need a few instruments such as a studio grand piano.
For our additional services, we would be looking at around $6000 per DJ cart, of which we would need to begin with four fully equipped carts. Equipment for Transfer Services (Reel to Reel to CD) would be around $1500. Label services equipment (printers, cd burners, software) would be around $4000. Professional Videographer equipment (cameras, cables, streaming gear, etc.) would be around $20,000. A complete live sound setup for theater staging, etc. (cables, mics, mixers, speakers, etc.), would be in around $10,000.
The next significant cost would be to find a suitable studio space from which to operate. The space itself, once found, would need to have suitable office spaces as well as at least one medium to large space to record in (two or three spaces would be preferable). After some remodeling, each space will need to be tuned and treated by a professional sound engineer. Depending upon the remodeling needed, this will cost approximately $50,000 per recording room.
A good marketing campaign for a classical recording studio/label will be fairly inexpensive and highly successful, if done well. Based on cursory research of the costs of campaigns we would need to pursue, we would likely spend about $20,000 in doing this very well.
The success of the business will largely depend upon the dedication and skill of the employees of Polyphony Records. In the beginning, I believe that myself and two full time hires can get the business up and running (A full time audio engineer and a full time marketing/project director). Until profit margins dictate the necessity of additional full time hires, other personnel can be hired on a part time basis such as HR/accounting as well as part time audio engineers, DJ’s, and live sound personnel being paid on a per job basis.
I believe $36,000 per year (with monthly sales performance bonuses) for each of these full time positions is a good place from which to start. As most businesses need a bit of time to get going, I would like to begin with six months wages for each full time employee already in the bank so as to focus on engaging new projects and clientele.
To break it all down, here is how we would be spending startup capital and approximately how much would be needed:
· Business Incorporation in Iowa: $275.
· Liability Insurances, permits, licenses, and retainers: $3000.
· Facility (6 month rent and deposit) with a remodeled studio space: $90,000.
· Office supplies (computers, software, furniture, etc.): $40,000
· Business Vehicles (for transporting equipment and personnel): $75,000
· All studio equipment (recording, videography, DJ, etc.): $160,000
· Musical Instruments (Studio Grand Piano, Percussion): $70,000
· Marketing Campaigns: $20,000
· Budget for paying utilities and employees for six months: $40,000
· Additional expenditures (signs, business cards, miscellaneous): $1725
To launch this high end recording studio and label, the total cost will be approximately $500,000 for a full recording studio with a single recording space and approximately $550,000 for a full recording studio with two professional quality recording spaces. Depending upon the space we find, this amount could vary slightly in either direction.
As a protection for our investor(s), we will be offering a liquidation preference in the unlikely event the company fails. In this scenario, the sale of our recording equipment will go toward investor repayment. Even considering the worst possible depreciation, this would provide our investor(s) at least a 25% return.
We are extremely confident in our business model and plan for growth and development. We know this model will be very popular in multiple areas within our field (classical recording, project development, film and entertainment scoring, etc.) and we will become the premier recording studio and label in the USA.
It is an important distinction that our business model will allow us to further the popularity of classical music in our culture. A very important secondary goal for our business is to become the one of the taste makers in our industry and, not only support the great music of the past and the great music being written today, but also extend our reach to new audiences and further the appreciation for this art form via educational outreach through our guest artists, affiliate orchestra(s), clientele, and internet broadcasts.
It is one of my personal goals, as majority owner and proprietor, to see a resurgence of appreciation for classical music come to fruition in my lifetime.
· Business Name Availability Check: COMPLETE
· Business Incorporation: IN PROGRESS
· Renting of Office Facility: SEARCH IN PROGRESS
· Setting up of the Recording Studio: FUNDING SEARCH IN PROGRESS
· Intellectual Property Protection and Trademark: IN PROGRESS
· Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: IN PROGRESS
· Opening of Online Payment Platforms: COMPLETE
· Obtaining Tax Payer ID: COMPLETE
· Application for Business License and Permits: IN PROGRESS
· Purchase of all Insurance and Retainers for Business: IN PROGRESS
· Securing Investor(s): IN PROGRESS
· Business Plan: COMPLETE
· Employee Handbook: IN PROGRESS
· Business Documents and Contracts: IN PROGRESS
· Design of the Company Logo: COMPLETE
· Design of Promotional Materials: IN PROGRESS
· Recruitment of Employees and Contractors: IN PROGRESS
· Purchase of Equipment, furniture, vehicles, computers: IN PROGRESS
· Creating official website: IN PROGRESS
· Health and Safety Plan: IN PROGRESS
· Building Security Arrangements: IN PROGRESS
· Health Care Benefits Setup: IN PROGRESS
· Beginning New Projects to Coincide with Studio Opening: IN PROGRESS