So You Think You Want A Million Pound Record Deal?
So You Think You Want A Million Pound Record Deal?November 1, 2016
The question, which is always an intriguing one, is particularly pertinent as we have recently set up our own label, Palila Records, here at Quite Great Music marketing. Usually, when acts first come to us seeking our services, one thing that the conversation always seems to lead to is how to get a deal from a label.
Unsigned developing artists will always and inevitably fall into two camps: those whose ultimate goal is to sign to a label and those who couldn’t care less about signing a label deal. There are valid reasons for both, depending on style of music and targets, but the general consensus sways towards signing a major deal.
Now, if you do fall into this camp, then you will need to follow two or three different paths and there are some things you should be careful to remember.
What hides behind the label?
Never forget this: Major labels are essentially banks with expert advisors. They should, but are frequently not run by people who love music and somewhere within the system, there will be someone who lives to crunch numbers and unfortunately, these are the people responsible for the fate of your band or solo career.
Let’s take a step into the future and imagine that you have been discovered and now you’re the next best thing; your dreams are becoming reality and you have signed a major record deal. Sorry to bring it back down to earth, but first off, dreams are not all they are cracked up to be; the small print is the gateway to whether or not your dreams will actually come to fruition. I cannot stress the importance enough of sitting down with your lawyer and making sure you understand as much about your agreement as they do. Why you ask? Because this way, you will understand that this is a business and that it’s not just about how many people like your music. It’s about giving the team you signed with the chance to help you grow without constantly looking over your shoulder at ledger.
The big ‘advance’ payment and the ‘360’ deal allowing every breath you take to be recouped against is brilliant , but that is where the pressure starts as this figure is not going into your pocket. Some of it may do, but whatever you get will be accounted for by giving you a series of releases to prove you can build an audience to offset the money paid out, and hopefully, make money rapidly for the label. Therefore, the bigger the budget, the bigger the stress. So if you are signing away a large chunk of your life to a nail biting ‘360’ deal, it’s best to get money in your pocket and then hold on to the tail of the donkey and try to learn how to ride it as quickly as possible to help it go in the right direction.