Online Music Label Clears 1M In Sales In 2 Years

image from www.dweebist.com (UPDATED) After two years in operation, DFTBA Records has now sold a total of $1,000,000 in music and merch. Two YouTubers founded the company in 2008 who wanted make being a full-time musician an attainable dream for their fellow video bloggers and performers.

Hank and Alan, the founders of the label, ran the numbers and soon figured out that if they "could dramatically increase the amount of money artists make per CD they sell," and let their 'artists’ authenticity increase the listener-to-purchaser ratio, 'musician' could suddenly be a real job for a lot of people." Reportedly, the duo succeeded.

As a business, they focus on providing services for emerging artists. Given that the successful ones are already good at creating content and growing their audiences, they opt-in and handle the details. Since they only have the goal of creating professional musicians – not Lady Gaga – they're able to operate with low overhead, as well as, produce and distribute creative, independent projects.

At heart, they're a community-run record label that desires to ensure that as much of the payoff as possible goes to the creators that they collaborate with. This has allowed them to thrive. In 2009, Mashable named them the "Best Online Music Label" of the year. And the team says things "are just getting started."

In the coming weeks, Hypebot will pursue an interview with this duo and see what we can learn. Are there any questions that you'd like us to ask them?

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  1. fantastic to see this. my question would be (because it’s confusing: the title of the article states $1mm in profit, while the body of the article states $1mm sold) if this is $500k / year in rev, or $500k/year profit. big difference obviously.
    In any case, great to see money trading hands in exchange for music/music-related stuff.

  2. Nice to see a good news label story on hypebot. The headline is misleading though, since $1 million in sales is NOT the same as $1 million in profits in two years. In fact they could be losing money since there is no mention of margins, etc. But nonetheless, good for making it work.

  3. And has Hypebot seen the actual financial accounts? Is this $1 million in income before or after royalties? This story would never have passed through the filters when I wrote for Billboard.

  4. Profits DO NOT equal sales. In fact, this company could be LOSING money.

  5. Thanks everyone for pointing that out. We didn’t intend to mislead. Therefore, I updated the title to sales.
    When I request an interview, I’ll be sure to raise these questions.

  6. This could be a great case study in artist development and cost containment. I want to know what marketing and promotion expenses were incurred, what the production budget was, and the distribution of revenues by channel. A success story like this, given they were at all profitable, would be an extremely valuable contribution to the industry.

  7. Actually, if a company is turning a profit, it is not losing money. Sales minus expenses equal profits. But since we’re really talking about $1M in gross sales, you are right that we can’t tell if they’re losing money or not.

  8. I would like to know the ratio between merch and albums and if combining them has a notable effect on increasing the sales of an album (from their experience)?

  9. It’s important to understand that DFTBA Records is not simply a label, but also an extension of a YouTube community. The artists on DFTBA connect with their fans in a way that is unlike most other musical acts. Also, Alan runs DFTBA in a very efficient manner, not unlike any other small business with only a handful of employees. I don’t know their actual numbers, but I know they are profitable.

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