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Music Contracts 101: Two Key Parts

Aug 17, 2007
In relation to music contracts there are often two areas, the amount of produce and advancements, that artists need explained. These two areas will be mentioned in every music business contract so it is crucial you have a firm grasp on their definitions. Over the next few paragraphs, I am going to define and discuss the importance of these two areas.

First, when in comes to recording contracts, the amount of product you are expected to release is included. Everyone who is offered a music contract will have to record the initial album referred to as the commitment album. Keep in mind, if this album does not do well, there is a chance you may not be picked up for the second option.

In addition to the commitment album, there may be "X" number of options included in music contracts. The amount of product you will be committed to is your initial plus "X" number of options. Unfortunately, the record label will control how many options they will allow you to record. This will most like be directly related to how successful the previous album was.

This leads us to advances. Advancement is the amount of money that the company offers in the start of the music business contract. This is meant to aid the band or artist is starting out and recording. Eventually this money is reimbursed from the artist's royalties for the records they sell. In other words, if you are fronted $100,000, then eventually the money will be recouped by the company from your record sales.

The good news is that in recording contracts, these advances do not have to be repaid in the event you do not sell any records. But don't worry, the label will find a way to get their money back, maybe by making you record another record until they are refunded. This also means that you will not receive any royalties until the company is paid back, according to the majority of music contracts.

This is both a risk for you and for the label you have signed the recording contracts with. But hopefully, you will never be in that position. Ideally, everyone wants to succeed and sell as many records as imaginable. And this is possible. But as with any contract, just make sure you completely understand all the terms, especially about the amount of product you are expected to produce and the advancements that you are entitled to pay back and you should do great!
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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