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Friday, June 17, 2011

Albums Guaranteed Release

Guaranteed Releases

A very important deal to know about as a recording artist is the release of a record. You want to make sure that a label is highly obligated to you. This is not always the case. When you first sign you do have limited bargaining power with your contract, however you can get a guaranteed release. A label can shelve your record pending the contractual agreement. Remember if you have a delivery clause, you could be in trouble. A label will shelve your record if they feel the timing or the specific sound is not the right timing. Everything is timing on what sells. Make sure you have a guarantee release in your contract. The delivery is between 90-120 days after recording. If this happens you have the right to a written notice saying that "you have not put out my album". After you have submitted the written notice the label has 60 days to release the album. If they don't you have the right to write a second notice. If they don't release within 30 days. If the record is still on hold, you can terminate the deal. The guarantee release clause only works if the record has not been released in the United States. You can negotiate a release provision for foreign territories. This is one of the most important clauses. Make sure you get a guarantee release in the United States.

The Independent Record Label

Over the last few years, deals with indie labels have become more prevalent. This is because lots of big wigs from the major go off and work for indie labels or create there own. Also, the major labels are signing less and less artists. Also, indie labels have better bands and solo acts. Commercial bands lack substance and just put out what sells to a younger audience which buys the majority of the albums these days. The good thing about the indie labels is that the deals with artist are looking more like the major deals. This is a plus when making your own music.  If you sign with an indie label, you will get less of an advance than from a major. If you are willing to take a small advance they can offer you %50 of all profits instead of royalties. Make sure that your albums gets released when you are signed with an indie. Indies also want a big chunk of your merchandise rights. This is called a "360 Deal". I will talk about that later. Another clause to watch out for is a "label management fee". This is just another way for them to make money off of you. Make sure that the percentage is very low, or put a maximum limit on what they can take. Indie's will try to take away your manager. Again, a way to get another 15% off of you. Tell them, no way, stay away from my team members. You always have control of your team. Indie's will want to grasp of your publishing rights as well. This means anything you make as a songwriter as opposed to a performer.

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