A record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Often, a record label is also a company that manages such brands and trademarks; coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos; conducts talent scouting and development of new artists ("artists and repertoire" or "A&R"); and maintains contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information.
Independent Record Label
An independent record label (or indie record label) is a record label operating without the funding of or outside the organizations of the major record labels. A great number of bands and musical acts begin on independent labels.
Major versus independent record labels
Record labels may be small, localized, and "independent" ("indie"), or they may be part of a large international media group, or somewhere in between. As of 2012 there are only three labels that can be referred to as "major labels". A "sublabel" is a label that is part of a larger record company but trades under a different name.