6 comments on “Getting signed: a brief how-to and what that entails

  1. Record companies are venture capitalists – they front bands money and expect to be paid back with interest. Sometimes they lose on the deal, sometimes they win. If they win that means you, the artist, wins…

  2. Venture Capitalist is a good analogy, but still leaves a little lacking. A venture capitalist does not spend money FOR you and then require that it ‘re-coups’ it from the proceeds. For example : “Here’s a 1 million dollar advance. Oh, and we booked you at the Record Plant for a month for $500,000 and hired ‘Producer A’ for you. You’ll pay him 300 thousand.” Where, I might take that $1M and go over to Crabwalk for that same month and spend $10,000 and get Chris Newman and/or Jack Endino for whatever fee I could wrangle. That 1 mil is all the label is going to pay on that first album cycle, which you will be expected to promote for a year- year and half. If they (the label) spend 800,000 of it before you even opened your guitar case, then you are left with $200,000 to spread all of Mikl’s numbers over. What ever is left over is your income for that year/year and a half. That’s a little beyond mere venture capital, and also a good reason as to why the old business model is crumbling away.
    The labels WOULD often lose on much of their roster, but on those that ‘won’ with, that win did/does not always trickle back to the artist under the old model. Many of those ‘old-school’ contracts split album revenue %80/%20 to the label AFTER recouping production expenses. So if you spend $10,000 (to keep the numbers easy)to make an album and you charge $10 each, you (the artist) see’s NO MONEY until you’ve sold 1000 units. AFTER 1000 units, the label would pay you $2 for each disc sold, and keep $8 for themselves. They cite lots of things to rationalize that, but in reality there’s no justification for an 80/20 split.

    IF a label comes calling, take the call. But read articles like Mikls. Courtney Love (for all her other crazy) has a pretty good screed online somewhere about the labels that’s worth reading. Read Jack Albinis thing, read other bands experiences with labels and MOST importantly- Read the contract. A LOT. BEFORE ( If ) you sign it

  3. Pingback: RIAA: A Four-Letter Word (Also, info about Copyrights) | Mikl Moose

  4. Pingback: Record Contracts FULL ARTICLE | Mikl Moose

  5. Pingback: Why I Hate the Music Industry | Mikl Moose

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