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10 Types Of Record Deals Every Musician Needs To Know

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Written by Jaron Lewis

For every musician and artist out there dreaming of hitting it big by getting a record deal, what you might not realize is just how many different types of record deals there are on the market and that some are a lot better than others. So here’s a rundown of the top 10 types of record deals for 2022.

Use Tunecore To Get Music In TV, Films, & Video Games

Many people know that they can use Tunecore to upload their music to Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and the popular music streaming platforms.

But Tunecore is also a quite large music licensing & publishing company.

You pay a $75 one time fee and get to submit unlimited music for placement in Film, TV, & Video Games.

They've placed songs in a bunch of TV shows and movies like FX's Atlanta, TBS's Conan, Lethal Weapon, Amazon Echo, and Jimmy Fallon just to name a few.

They take a 15% cut of the royalties and a 20% cut of the sync licensing check, but these are inconsequential to the value you get with the service.

You can get started by uploading your tracks to Tunecore, then submit them for opportunities after you've uploaded.

The Top 10

1. Standard Record Deal

Unlike the name suggests, this is not the standard for the current day and age. The SRD focuses largely on albums and options and is an offer that was more suited to the physical age instead of the digital one.

2. 360 Deal

The label will take a percentage of all forms of income from the artist – touring, merch, fan club etc, on the thought that if they break an artist they deserve this cut.

3. Single Deal Recording Contract

Very quickly becoming the new norm in Europe, the SD is based purely on singles instead of full albums.

4. Profit Split Record Deal

If you have a full project that hasn’t been released you can approach labels with a Profit Split deal whereby they will invest in the marketing of the deal.

5. Anti-360 Deals

Artists are able to keep more artistic control and musical leverage without losing the funding they deserve.

6. Artist Deals

This is the 360 concept but between artists so the up and coming artist will reap the benefits of the more established and famous counterpart. The most famous is perhaps One Direction’s ownership of 5 Seconds of Summer which did both bands very well.

7. Licensing Deal

This largely applies to artists that already have a large portfolio and sales under their belt as it prevents the label they’re signing to having copyright or control over earlier releases. Particularly good if you have a lot of music and are being offered a 360 deal.

8. EP Deal

The band and label will produce an EP together and the label will provide the best strategy for marketing however there will be no public announcement that the pair are working together. It allow labels to test the waters before signing a band full time.

9. Major Label Deal

The label will pay for everything – recording, touring, press, distribution… everything! You’ll get a large advance but the label will expect to recoup this and your royalty rate will be pretty low. Also, the label will more than likely retain rights to the music even after you part ways.

10. Distribution Deal

The label will pay for everything to do with press and distribution but everything else will fall on the heads of the artist themselves. This is most commonly used when an artist has generated a lot of hype that the label want to jump on board with.

Before signing with any label make sure you’ve read the terms very carefully and are happy they can’t offer you more before you sign.

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    4 replies to "10 Types Of Record Deals Every Musician Needs To Know In 2022"

    • David

      You can’t really average a distribution deal people get paid drastically different amounts for example snoop got paid 1500 dollars for features during a time other platinum artists might be paid 15,000 to 45,000 for a feature but like I said he was getting paid 1500 so depending on how you negotiate you could come away with a 250,000 dollar production deal where they basically cover all your expenses and take a big chunk of your pay out later or you could take a very meager 10k produce it yourself on u super low budget or hire a killer producer for 3 grand as a retainer and pay them a percentage of sales later If your strapped for cash and need to keep them interested in working with you. Basically everything depends on everything. If you are an absolute superstar and you have zero trouble product potential top 100 songs constantly there gonna see you as a golden goose and while your broke try and get you with pocket change now to keep 35%+ later across the board. If I were you I would talk to an artist who is established and offer them are percentage of your total earnings over the next 5 years only up to a specific amount say 8 times what they invest in you a promise to work with them long term so they know your future success benefits them as well.

    • Marc Clough

      Can you advise on how to get an artist frame please. I have a single out and recording an ep independent.nrxy month. Ita generating a lot of interest. Been advised to ask about artist deals

    • Hosea

      The deals are different, infact some might be tricky when It come to an ending?

    • Mike

      How much is the average payment
      For 1 distribution deal.

      What is the average payment for
      10 distribution deals.

      Would this get you a major record contract

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