Prominent UK-born independent rock and metal label Earache Records is launching a music distribution service called Earache Digital Distribution (EDD).
Founded in Nottingham, UK, by Digby Pearson 35 years ago, Earache has worked with notable metal artists like Napalm Death and more recently acts including Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke, and Scarlet Rebels.
The label’s new distro service will let artists upload their music to streaming platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, Deezer and Tidal, as well as social platforms including TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.
According to the FAQ section on the label’s new distribution website, artists can sign up to the service for free, with an annual cost of £5 GBP (approx $6.09) per year to release a single (1-3 tracks) and £15 GBP ($18) per year for an album (4-100 tracks).
Earache says it will take a 10% cut of artists’ royalties, to “help cover operational costs”, and adds that artists, “will keep 100% of your rights at all times”.
The launch of EDD forms part of an emerging trend of record labels launching their own distribution divisions.
Last year, for example, New York-based indie FADER Label partnered with Virgin Music to launch a distribution division.
In June 2021, 300 Entertainment, which was acquired by Warner in December 2021, launched Sparta, an invite-only distribution platform for DIY artists.
In a blog post on the EDD website, Tim Bailey Head Of Label / General Manager at Earache Records & EDD promises that artists signing up to EDD will be able to “speak directly to staff at management level” and that the company “can tailor the growth of our platform to [artists’] needs”.
Added Bailey: “Within our team we have expertise in A&R, campaign and career building, manufacture [and] production, marketing and running a £1m+ a year webstore.
“We won’t promise anything we can’t deliver; no promises of Rap Caviar or Kick Ass Metal playlisting on day one to reel bands in. We promise to help you build a career based on sustainable growth.”
Bristol-based songwriter, Elles Bailey, Nottingham-based rock band As December Falls, and Belfast alt-rock/pop act Rews are amongst artists already signed up to the service, following a soft launch period.
“The music industry has changed a lot since we first started, and change is happening ever faster.”
Earache Records founder Digby Pearson, said: “The music industry has changed a lot since we first started, and change is happening ever faster.
“We’re always keen to evolve so we can continue to develop our artists.
“Digital distribution has democratised the industry, but there will always remain a need to support and empower artists on a tailored level.
“We’ve been doing this for years, and with Earache Digital Distribution, we’re now doing it in a different way, and welcome all genres.
Added Pearson: “It’s a way for us to work with more bands as we only actually sign (in the traditional sense) maybe two or three bands a year now.
“The DIY ethic is strong here. We have been and always will be about the music.
“With our platform we’re able to open doors to all of the biggest digital music outlets in the world, so each track can reach its fans quicker and artists can get a personal service and advice along the way, which is not something other distribution sites offer.
“Over the years we’ve built strong relationships with award winning mix engineers, plus world-class designers, and video directors, and we are experts at planning tours.
“By launching our distribution service we’re adding to the ways artists can tap into our contacts and knowledge to hopefully reach their full potential. It’s not just distribution here, we’re more than happy to help their creative side too.”
“I find the faceless nature of the big digital distributors really frustrating – especially when things go wrong.”
Elles Bailey, said: “I’ve used many different distribution platforms in the past and although they have all generally ticked the box, I find the faceless nature of the big digital distributors really frustrating – especially when things go wrong.
“I felt very supported from the off and it was wonderful having the Earache team working closely with my own label Outlaw Music to maximise this release and get some playlist support not only from Spotify but also from Apple Music.”
“There’s the benefit of working with a partner that has label resources at their disposal which other platforms can’t compete with.”
As December Falls
As December Falls, added: “We loved moving to Earache Digital Distribution for our music simply because they provide a much deeper level of customer service than any of the other digital providers that we’ve ever worked with in the past.
“The platform’s easy to use and they deliver exceptionally fast to stores.
“There’s also the benefit of working with a partner that has label resources at their disposal which other platforms can’t compete with.”
“We spoke to a number of interested parties, however Tim and his team at EDD stood out immediately.”
Shauna Tohill, Rews
Shauna Tohill, Rews frontperson, said: “Having released two previous albums via an independent label achieving more than 10m streams, we were looking for a new label services partner who shared our vision for Rews and had the capability and expertise in the rock genre to support us in maximising the opportunity with this new album release.
“We spoke to a number of interested parties, however Tim and his team at EDD stood out immediately.
“They were enthusiastic about Rews, understood our vision and have an undoubted track record in delivering success in the rock genre.
“Their new model is hugely exciting and perfect for our needs, and we look forward to the exciting journey ahead as part of the Earache family.”Music Business Worldwide