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Finished album record contract

Ok, so in a month I will have finished my first album (folk/acoustic/electronic sound). I have slaved over this in the studio and have had good feedback. Everything will be finished, artwork, mastering, story, website, bio.

Now heres my question -
"When approaching record labels is there a certain name for a contract that is for the release of a finished album?"

Whats the best terminology to use when pitching such an idea?

Any help is much appreciated.


Pro Audio Guest Mon, 01/01/2007 - 02:35
You know there are a few thought on this subject. I don't know if you remember MC Hammer (alright alright settle down for moment there is point here). This guy sold albums out of his car in the back of cubs he performed in. He paid for his own album and would teach his dance moves in the clubs etc.. He really made a name and following for himself prior to any record company approaching him. When they finally did approach him, they offered him a standard artist percentage contract. He was smart enought to run the numbers and figure out he was doing better with the few sales he was doing each night over giving away a large portion to the record company to sell more volume. He told them to take a hike and they counter offerred him a killer deal unheard of since in my lifetime. Anyway, he was the whole package, he had a niche already, he had people doing his moves in the clubs etc... At that level is when you can even start to think that you have negotiating power. Typically, you should count on working with a producer and re-recording your album in the future. If you are going the record company route, then they will need to put you through their machine at least to make them feel happy and secure. It may not do much for you, but that is the way it usually happens. Record companies like to work with a single person who can be yelled at, held accountable for going overbudget, and will get the sound that is proven to sell albums. That my friend is your PRODUCER.
Keep an open mind, Know what you have to work with. Be confident, and consider all avenues. You may be better off without a record company and like Digit said a distribution deal.

cfaalm Thu, 11/30/2006 - 01:53
Record contracts come in all shapes and sizes.

From what I know you´ll be called the master owner. You'd be looking for a promotion and distribution deal.

Please read up on how deals are made and how to enter that realm. Record companies are very shy these days. Most times with first releases, all costs they make are recoupable i.e. you will not make any money until the record company has had their share or their costs covered. Much also depends on the volume of the release and I don't mean how loud it is :wink: . Many factors to consider and things to be done still.

Perhaps [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.getsigne…"]here[/]="http://www.getsigne…"]here[/] you can find additional info.

Hope they like your stuff. Good luck.

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 11/30/2006 - 08:04
First of all, we need to calrify a few points:

When you shop for a deal you usually do it with a DEMO, not a finished album.

In your case, should you get signed, there is NO guarantee your album will be distributed as is. The label may want to re-record all tracks using other producers and studios, bring in other writers, co-writers, etc...

You are looking for a DISTRIBUTION deal, apparently. There are many outfits that will sell your CD for a fee, without exclusive clauses. However, that means NOTHING without PROMOTION, Marketing, Touring and Radio Play. Without a concurrent plan that involves all of the above there will be NO sales.

You have to realize that Labels are there to make money. Even if your music sounds great they have to see a viable marketing niche for it, something that THEY can sell.

If you know what your niche is and have developed a marketing plan of your own, you could possibly propose it to a distributor and you two can form a partnership to promote and sell you. Remember, it's really the ARTIST that is being sold, not just the music.

Finally, Labels will take you much more seriously if you have a well established entert. attorney and pr firm doing the shopping as this gives them a sense of credibility. It means that other professioinal in the business have heard you, met you and decided that you are in fact a viable product. By yourself, you will be on of the many millions who believe their stuff is the best but, whose beliefs have not passeed any professional test yet. If you know what I mean.

In essence, you are shopping for an investor. So, keep that in mind.

Good luck with your project!

MadMax Thu, 11/30/2006 - 18:17

You sure seem to be one sharp ole' ho!! Seems pretty obvious to me you been round' the block a coupla' times.

You oughta' consider contacting audiokid fer the mod position fer this here forum!

I know the pay's killer good, but it's nice to see some more experienced heads posting here...

Just a thought.