Difference Between Record Label and Production Company

The field of performing arts is a vast ocean, and so has a lot of subdivisions and divisions in the market. Record label and production company are two different terms that are often confused as both are related to a company dealing in performing arts.

But these two terms differ from each other in many ways. They both can be related to a company but they differ from each other in terms of scale and other different parameters.

Record Label vs Production Company

The main difference between a record label and a production company is that a record label is a brand that owns a music recording and video related to it, on the other hand, a production company is a business that provides a footing for work for performing arts, video, music, website, etc. A production company has a team that helps them to create media such as video among other things. 

Record Label vs Production Company

A record label is also called a record company. A reword label exclusively deals with music audio and video. The record label can be a publishing company if it manages music brands and trademarks and coordinates other related functions.

Musicians rely on record labels to increase their consumer base and other related operations such as promotion. Record labels can be big and can be independent depending on the operations. 

The production company also called a production team is a group of people who are responsible for the technical side of a media production.

A production company can help produce videos, video games, music, films, etc. These companies generally rely on some investor or the parent company for funds but can also raise it on their own.

A production company can be of many types depending on the function they perform. Paramount Pictures is an example of one such company that specializes in motion pictures.

Comparison Table Between Record Label and Production Company

Parameters of ComparisonRecord LabelProduction Company
IndustryIt is related to the music and music video industry.It is related to a lot of industries such as movies, videos, games, etc.
ReachThey have a reach to popular tv shows.They may not have any reach.
resourcesThey have almost all the resources for an artist to flourish.They lack significant resources for artists’ promotion.
TypeThey have their own brand.They outsource branding from labels.
OffersTheir offer will include the entire need for an artist to flourish.They can only offer a shopping deal.

What is Record Label?

A record label is a brand that deals with music and music production. It usually has all the necessary resources and investment with it that is required for music video production.

It has enough money to pay its freelance workers and artists that it employs for different work related to music video production.

A record label is a big brand such as Sony Music, Warner Music group, etc. A record label can be on its own but almost always falls under a big music group.

The music group could be again owned by bigger companies that fund all their operations. Record labels are solely responsible for music production.

A genuine record label must have a video production wing for the music albums. These brands also have connections to big shows such as The Tonight Show to help promote the artist.

It can also have other means to promote the music alum of an artist. The term indie label is used to describe those record labels that are independent.

Indie labels do not have any company over them. Their small size provides a friendly environment for budding artists as they provide flexibility.

Indie labels have relatively less funding when compared to big conglomerates. There are other types of labels as well. Some common ones are Vanity labels, Sublabel, etc.

What is Production Company?

 A production company can be responsible for many types of media productions such as videos, audio, video games, films, etc. These companies do not have their own investment and completely rely on the parent company, investors, promoters, etc.

These companies are responsible for the technical aspects of production such as budgeting, talent hunt, scripting, etc. The companies often work for labels that have the resources and connections for the production and promotion of an artist.

Production companies only hire management staff as other staff related to production are freelancers. So, a production company can also be defined as a group of managers that are responsible for the operational aspect of production.

There are several types of production companies. An example of one of the types of production companies is a book to the film unit. As the name suggests it is a unit of a book publishing company that attempts to get the book adopted as a movie.

There are many companies that have were not related to films or TV but have emerged as production companies.

One example is Random House Films whose parent company is Random house. Random House Films is a book to a film company that has come out of Random House company.

Main Differences Between Record Label and Production Company 

  1. A production company deals with the operational aspects of a production whereas, a record label deals with music production and promotion.
  2. A record label has a brand and all the resources to help an artist flourish whereas, production companies only act as a link between an artist and another label.
  3. A record label must have a video production unit whereas, a production company does not have a video production unit.
  4.  A record label is a company that has connections with popular TV shows whereas, a production company does not have such connections.
  5. A record label is capable of paying the artists and their freelance workers whereas, production may not have enough funds for the same. 


Different aspects of media have different requirements and they depend on different types of companies. The different aspects include the management, promotion, production for a music video or a movie.

A company that helps with the operational functions of any production then it is called by the name of a production company. A record label is a brand that works under a larger brand that funds all the operations.

It can be independent as well but it is then called an indie company. A record label is concerned with the element of promotion, production, payment, etc., of a music album. A record label often sponsors a recording company.


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  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/houbtalj9&section=7
  3. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0-Yp6udpdbgC&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=film+production+company&ots=63-1zvhpg1&sig=JfmZFFWd7OXWbbQjVkgUfpV3EsA
  4. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=H8DShVS-3cIC&oi=fnd&pg=PR3&dq=film+production+company&ots=oPZaq8Vxj-&sig=NFjeDu_u23GlSPtuZlAZa5Z4PxI
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