British company Spitfire Audio has built a business around sample libraries and virtual instruments for artists and producers to use when making music. Now the company is branching out with the creation of its own label, SA Recordings.
The label launches today with an EP by Spitfire’s lead composer Oliver Patrice Weder, which will be released on streaming services, and also as a limited-edition vinyl sold through Bandcamp. It will be followed later in the year by a full-length album, alongside other releases.
Label manager Harriet Pittard told Music Ally that the wider strategy for SA Recordings is to mesh with Spitfire’s established business: for example, launching sample libraries alongside new albums, including offering bundles to buy both at once.
“We’re taking the best of what Spitfire do with sample libraries, and combining it with the concept of a label. When we sign and work with artists, not only are we developing them as recording artists and releasing their vinyl and merch, but we’re also developing sample libraries in conjunction with their releases,” said Pittard.
“The ideal concept is that we’ll have both finished articles, the sample library and the LP, and sell that for £50-£70 in a bundle… The tagline for the label is ‘sounds and recordings by new composers” – it’s not just about recordings, it’s about sounds as well.”
Pittard added that SA Recordings won’t be confining itself to a narrow genre focus: it sees itself sitting in between classical, contemporary, film, avant-garde, electronic and experimental music, like its parent company, with an emphasis on artists using “real instruments”, including those from the electronic world.
SA Recordings is working with AWAL to release its music digitally, and while at launch its physical-sales efforts will focus on Bandcamp, Pittard says there are already discussions around the potential of launching “a more in-house shop” later in the year.
“I think people will want to buy the records that we make. We’ll start off with some smaller runs to try it all out. It’s about starting off smaller and then building as you go,” she said.
The new label hopes that it will get off to a running start with the community of musicians that already use Spitfire Audio’s libraries and virtual instruments. The company has recorded and released more than 50 libraries over the past 10 years, working with musicians including Hans Zimmer and Olafur Arnalds.
Spitfire told Music Ally that it has been profitable since launch a decade ago, and that its revenues have grown by more than 400% over the last five years, while its customer base has grown by 153% year-on-year. It’s those people that Pittard hopes will be the early listeners for SA Recordings’ releases.
“It is a fanbase. I think of Spitfire as like an artist that has engaged fans, so with the label it’s about bringing music to that core community of people that they’ve fostered over the last decade,” she said. “But also to bring Spitfire Audio, through the label, to a new context: some people may not have heard of Spitfire Audio before, but will come to it through the label, and the music.”