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Exploring Demo Deals

Aug 17, 2007
Demonstrational recording deals are not to be confused with actual recording contracts. These deals are made with either an investor or usually a record label itself. They can be considered a prerequisite to music contracts. These occur when the money is fronted for you or your band to enter in the studio and record your demo tape. The flip side of this type of deal is that it is generally treated as an advance of services meaning the money will eventually be recouped one way or another.

This money can be recouped in a couple of ways. The first way is if you are offered a music business contract, then you will be obligated to pay this back with your earnings. Or if for some reason you are offered music contracts with other labels as a result of this demo, then you may obligated to pay back the original label with earning from this music contract.

You next question may be, how do I get a demo deal? If you have heard of A&R, then you know that they are the scouts of the music industry. A&R might take notice of your music but you may not have a demo yet. In this case, a demo deal may be offered in order for the actual label to hear you as a recorded band. Recording contracts may be offered as a result of this, which I am assuming is your goal.

But, this is the point were an offer will be made to front the money for the demo. Generally, a label will decide within 30 days or so as to whether they would like to offer a music business contract. Then music contract negotiations will start. This is an exciting moment for any artist but keep your cool and take it slowly.

If for some reason you do not agree with the recording contracts offer and you decide to look elsewhere then go for it. Or if the label decides not to offer a music contract to you then take your demo and look elsewhere. Unfortunately, either way, you may end up reimbursing the label for their demo recordings if you sign with another label.

I hope you have gained a better understanding of demo deals and all that they entail. Hopefully you will be one of those lucky artists or bands that are discovered and offered this type of deal and then eventually a music business contract. Good Luck!
About the Author
Online music industry's most recognizable voice-the former owner of an Indie label-current owner of Platinum Millennium Pub. & music industry seminar speaker/panelist. Author/creator of 40+ best-selling music biz materials & other "How to" resources, that helped 1000s of people. Visit http://www.order-yours-now.com/ for more information on music contracts, recording contracts & music business contracts.
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