Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Music Business/Law Tips - "Independent Deals" (Part 1)

In today's rapidly changing music business, major labels are hesitant to sign new, unproven acts to their rosters. However, do not be disheartened; a major label deal is only one avenue to obtain mass exposure for a musical artist. This article will explain some alternatives to signing a recording contract with a major label.

Independent Labels: These labels tend to specialize in a particular style of music and obviously have smaller rosters. This can work to the artist's benefit because the act should receive more attention. Also, an independent will usually have some form of distribution in place, which is necessary to put records in stores. Many independents have become successful subsidiaries of major labels, which has provided them with major label distribution.

Distribution Deals: Here, the artist delivers to a record company an agreed amount of completed product (e.g., compact discs). Then, the label will distribute the product to stores. Sometimes, the label will also market and promote the product. Otherwise, this duty is left to the act. For its services, the label will collect a percentage of the selling price of the record. Digital distribution these days is normally part of any such deal.

[part 2 next week]

Ben McLane Esq

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