Los Angeles has long been home to a vibrant indie scene, from Specialty and Pacific Jazz to Elektra and Dunhill through the punk of Slash, SST and Frontier to rap imprints Ruthless, Priority and Delicious Vinyl. Epitaph, the artist-run punk powerhouse, hit it big in 1994 with the Offspring’s six-times platinum album, “Smash,” and continues to have one of the most solid rosters of any label in the country, large or small.
…They also don’t incur the same costs as larger labels. Brown said he spends an average of $1,500 per full-length release — for 500 copies that the label sells for $12 apiece — with 20% of the profit going to the band. He’ll put out as many as 20 such releases in a year from artists like Pocahaunted and Sun Araw, who are never signed to contracts.
…One of Alpha Pup’s most profitable avenues is licensing songs for film, television and commercial Web use. Label and artist alike see a payday when one of their tracks is synced to video, whether via a blockbuster movie like Universal’s “Repo Men” or a real estate clip made for YouTube. But the mother lode, Moo said, is in one of electronic music’s biggest licensees, CBS’ “CSI” franchise.