The Rise of Independent Music

Indie labels maximize control

fee

  • Indie owns copyrights to all recordings
  • Joint Ventures (between an indie label and a major label)

    • Indie and major label enter an agreement where both parties share costs and profits
    • Indie generally performs the artists and
      repertoire (A&R) function, selecting the artist and paying for the recording and production
    • Label pays manufacturing and distribution costs and may pay some promotion costs
    • Ideally, indie pays 50% of the cost and receives 50% of the profit

    Production Deals (including most vanity labels)

    • Deal between major artist and his or her major label
    • Label allows that artist to act as a producer, identifying and mentoring new talent under a separate indie label
    • Major artist receives overhead, branding, and an increased royalty rate on the new talent—generally as much as 20%
    • Major label pays all charges but the indie label doesn’t get paid until those costs are recouped new talent will most likely receive an advance; in some cases, that artist won’t see any more money
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