Monday, August 29, 2011

Music Business/Law Tips - "Royalties (computing)" [Part 1]

Once an artist is fortunate enough to obtain a deal from a reputable record company, the artist is probably most interested in how much money will be made on sales of the records which are released. This article will briefly explain some of the elements of an artist royalty clause.

The artist royalty clause determines how much money an artist will receive from the sales of CDS, downloads, etc. In most contracts, the royalty is expressed in terms of a percentage, rather than an actual dollar or cent amount. The percentage is called the "rate".

Generally, for a new artist, the rate will range from 10% to 15% of the selling price. However, some smaller independent labels might offer even a lower percentage (or a net profit split). As with most things in a contract, the rate is negotiable depending on the bargaining power of the artist. A new group with no proven sales record that has never toured will probably not be able to achieve a very high rate. However, if the A&R staff feels that an act has tremendous sales potential and/or there is a bidding war between labels, the rate will tend to increase.

[part 2 next time]

Ben McLane Esq

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