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  • Mark A. Skoda

Iron Gate Records 2022 Year In Review

First, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well as happy holidays. It’s been a whirlwind of a year. And with the end of 2022 approaching, I thought I would share our many successes and initiatives at Iron Gate Records.


Our Artists:

During 2022, we began to ramp up our artist roster. As an independent record label, we believe that the independent artist should be supported through a combination of personal contact, technology innovation and new services to get their music heard and to acquire new fans. Iron Gate Records has built the label on key technology partnerships that not only continue to evolve their offering but have worked with Iron Gate Records to develop new services.

Our artist roster had their music streamed nearly a half million times with over 120,000 listeners across 100 countries. You were nominated 20 times for the Josie Music Awards in various categories and you continued to gig and release new music. There were thirty-one new releases encompassing 42 songs when considering EP’s and Albums. All in all, a very strong year as we continued to add new artists throughout 2022.


Our Technology:

Our key technology partners include Intercept Music Group, UMG’s InGrooves DSP, Gigwell, Reprtoire, Radio.co and Podcast.co. All of these technologies and business partners have allowed Iron Gate Records to provide a technology stack at a low cost of entry to our artists while offering a best-in-class services.

Our website presence continues to evolve with the launch of Iron Gate Records Radio, The Independent Musician Podcast and Rising Star Radio shows. At the same time, we launched our Android and iOS apps for the radio station, promoted our artists’ music globally and generated a successful podcast offering unique perspectives on the business.


Iron Gate Records Radio has over 100 tracks played in regular rotation spotlighting our artist and available for worldwide listening. With average listening time of 18 minutes across nearly 30 countries, we succeeded in generating new fans and listeners around the world. And we have published 17 episodes of our podcast to all the major podcast streaming services and currently rank in the top 10 percent of new long form podcasts based on monthly downloads and listeners.


Gigging, Publishing & PR:

We had turnover during the year for our booking agency and are currently interviewing for the position. In addition, we have been interviewing for the publishing division position and hope to have both filled in the new year.

In addition, we are in negotiations with a PR & media group that will allow our artists to add a public relations capability with over 500,000 contacts to include agencies, media lists, bloggers, journalists, radio, and agents. We hope to have this agreed in the next couple of weeks and will offer this service at the label’s discounted rate to our artists. This is an exciting development and allows Iron Gate Records to work with our artists on direct promotion of announcements, releases, and other noteworthy efforts.


Finally, we will have access to many other PR programs at discounts to our artists that will allow for everything from PR campaigns to streaming campaigns to interviews and many more.


Intercept Music Group:

One exciting development that has been on the “promised” list is the addition of the artist dashboard that will allow you to directly see all your information related to streams, merchandise sales and social media.


You will also be able to schedule your social media posts, purchase and aggregate marketing services based on your budget and have total visibility to those campaigns and notified of results. In addition, functionality will be added to allow the label to promote our services amongst others provided by Intercept Music, thereby presenting the complete picture of how and what the artist can purchase on an a ’la carte basis pending their budget.

In this rollout of the technology update, Iron Gate Records and other labels currently using Intercept Music’s platform will be a one stop shop with differentiation based on genre focus, service offerings, A&R capabilities, and those elements unique to the label’s artist roster and the label’s own structure.


What this means for the artist is a transparent way to bundle services to promote the artist and/or band, their branding, their music, their videos, their shows and of course their unique message.


HOME for Music:

Iron Gate Records has joined HOME for music creators as our office home and will leverage this unique Music City asset for production, performance, writing and meeting. IGR has previously been an online member, but as our artist roster and business has grown, we wanted to support this important non-profit in Nashville. HOME is a remarkable artist incubator and Iron Gate Records is pleased to be a part of this important community asset.


As an independent artist on the IGR label, you will be able to take advantage of a number of services available to Iron Gate Records. HOME also provide Iron Gate Records with a "home" for our business meetings and many other services. We are proud to support the team headed by Logan Crowell.


Going Global:

Finally, Iron Gate Records went global with the formation of a strategic partnership in Latin America in Merida, Mexico. Iron Gate Records Latin America leverages their infrastructure and artist contacts to develop this market for the label. The new label was formed together with NDB Publishing Group Company (aka IGR) and HQ Productions Group of Merida, Mexico. Iron Gate Records Latin America will leverage the US organization and technology platform to develop new artists and music distribution together with our Latin America partners.


In addition, the label will offer the services of HQ Productions Group in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Promoting Merida's unique cultural heritage and rich community, we will be able to offer artists across the globe a unique destination experience to produce their music.


Iron Gate Records Latin America will become a resort destination for US and artists worldwide to take advantage of the talented session musicians, experienced engineers and producers, and low cost of production.


Closing Comments:

As we look forward to 2023, there is so much more coming down the pike. We will continue to build the radio station, the podcast, the aforementioned services, greater community outreach and finally, adding new artists to join our growing family at Iron Gate Records.


When Greg Upchurch and I envisioned the startup of this new label, we could not have expected the growth and excitement of the business. It is not easy and not always smooth sailing, but the working with you, the artists and your extraordinary talents is all that I have come to expect.


In closing out 2022, I am proud of what we have built together and what is to come. I know the music business is ever changing and some people just walk away. But it is a business, and your talent must be brought together with the sophistication and tools of that business. I believe in you all and I look forward to working together in the new year.


As the year winds down, I want to wish you and your loved one’s happy holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let’s build on these results and work even harder to drive that success through to your music and fans alike!

Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to serve.


Sincerely,


Mark


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