I was offered this amount of money for a release

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  • This topic has 29 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 10 years ago by The Dude.
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  • #14579 Reply
    Peter Andersson

    I was offered 28,000 USD to release a library with 18 tracks in it. I googled the company and it seems they are major. I think its called buy-out? Publisher keep 100% of the share and 50% writers share goes to me. I am new to this world. They approached me on Twitter. Is this a normal deal for a production music library?

    Which termology should I keep in mind here, I heard so many.. like publishers share, owners share, writers share….

    #14583 Reply

    28k sounds good to me, but I don’t have much experience in this business. I’m curious to hear what some of the vets think.

    #14584 Reply
    More advice

    Hi Peter,

    I would move very slowly in this deal. Sleep on it a few days. Basically they are taking ownership of your music for about $1500 per track. Yes they are “buying your music forever” and also taking 100% publishing share and 50% writers share leaving you with 50% of the 200% pool for future royalties. Basically, you will lose control of your intellectual property, they will own it and be able to exploit it for profit forever in exchange for $28,000.

    Make sure you get the offer in writing and really study the terms of the agreement before you sign on.

    Sending an offer via twitter is a bit strange? Can you link us to the album they want to buy?

    #14586 Reply

    From my experience $28k is a phenomenal amount of money. Four years ago when I was less experienced I was offered $300 a track for 6 tracks with the same backend you’ve been offered. I negotiated for 100% of the writer’s and they went for it but I had misgivings and lofty ideas regarding potential so I didn’t sign. Not the best move. Those tracks have made money since then but not as much.

    When someone pays up front they have a vested interest in getting placements. I’ve done custom work for several popular cable shows and the front end has never been as good as what you’re describing but the backend is always better than library because of that vested interest.

    If it were me and all relevant angles checked out (legit company, etc) I would jump on it.

    #14588 Reply

    Are you giving up 50% of the writer’s share? That’s unusual for a high caliber library. If that’s the case, someone is going to get half of the writer’s royalties and will also appear credited as a co-writer on YOUR music. These days I try to shy away from these deals, but I did plenty of them early in my career.

    It’s a really nice upfront fee, but remember they’re collecting all future licensing revenue – you won’t see any of that. One good license (a major commercial for example) could cover the 28k. Perhaps 28k in the hand is worth a lot more ‘in the bush’ though 🙂

    #14585 Reply

    It depends on if you feel comfortable signing away the rights to your music. If you are hesitant about signing away the rights, you should reject the deal.

    I personally would sign the deal because it sounds awesome! It does not seem to me that you would be taken advantage of. If the deal is legitimate, you would be doing great. I do not hear of many composers be offered opportunities like this.

    If your songs never generate any backend royalties, you will still have made $28,000. That is a good chunk of change to use to invest into more equipment, pay down debt, take a vacation, etc.


    #14590 Reply

    Hi Peter,
    I am fairly new to this biz with little experience, however based on the info I gathered up to now and the excellent comments of the other participants, I would definitely go for it. 28K pays me a full year of life, and in a full year I can create way more than 18 tracks! If I were you I would:
    _ Check the company is legit and try to find out more about them before responding.
    _ If they are ready to give you 28K, it means they really want the songs. So you should have place to negotiate. I would do like Kiwi and go for the 100% writer’s share. They probably have major placements in mind. In my opinion, it is bound to generate some kind of back end on the long run so higher the writer’s share, happier will your bank account be in the future. I would also request being credited if your tracks land on TV or Cinema for your own “shining” in the bizz.

    I join DI in congratulating you! Well done!

    #14591 Reply
    Peter Andersson

    Thank you all and I got confused about what different shares. as to my understanding i seem to be lucky enough that someone spotted me and actually want to pay me for what I am doing. I guess this is my first baby steps into the production music world. I am making everything on a laptop so I guess I will be able to upgrade my gear a little this year 🙂

    I am a member of an org that have people to check my contracts and help me explaining things. Giving away tracks for lifetime seems a bit “scary” but i guess there are just positive things for me about it. I am happy to be a member here since yesterday, many veterans here and I thank you all for replying to me.

    #14593 Reply
    More Advice

    Peter, One final point…if you are young and never have experienced a contract of this size with this kind of financial reward, definitely enjoy the experience of earning 28K. While you probably put in a fair amount of time crafting those 18 compositions, I have to say that these offers do not happen on a regular basis. As Mark Petrie indicated, I would try to negotiate, out of principle, keeping 100% of your “writers share” of the compositions as you are the only one who wrote the music.

    You have nothing to lose by making a counter offer. If your music is licensed in some big movies, TV shows, trailers or commercials by the publisher who wants to buy your works…you will get royalties as “writer”, but you will not receive any share of the future license fees ever (I can only assume this is the deal they are presenting…look out for that in the contract).

    They very well may be able to command 10 to 20K in just one license fee for 1 track, and if your music is great, they may be able to do that type of deal many times! Good Luck. Read that contract a few times before you sign away!

    #14596 Reply

    Something worth considering is that very rarely does a business open with its final offer. If they are legit, then contacting you out of the blue with $28k means it must be worth a hell of a lot more to them than $28k to have those tracks. You may not want to push it this first time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you could ask and get more from them than that inital offer.

    I’ve signed over tracks to libraries in the past for up front money, but I always retained some % of license fee income (usually 30-50%) as well as my half of total broadcast royalties.

    I expect you will keep 100% of writer’s share. It seems very unlikely they’d make a contract with half your share plus their full publishing share going to them. Let us know what you decide and congratulations!

    #14598 Reply

    I think, dont push it. 1500 per track is a lot of money for an unknowon composer. Dont ask for that 100% writer share either. You dont want to come out as greedy for the first deal you do with them. For the next deal or deals then you may be able to ask for more, especially when your music will indid place and they will know it is safe to give you more next time. Take care.

    #14600 Reply
    royalty collector guy

    @music_pro: Greedy just because you want to be credited for 100% of the writers share for the tracks you wrote? How is that greedy?

    Clearly the publisher feels as though they are going to place the music a lot by offering 28K. People do not pay 28K unless they know with certainty they will get a return on their investment. They may already have a deal lined up! I can argue that theyare being greedy by wanting 50% writers share of something they did not write.

    How can anyone with a good conscious feel good about claiming to have written 50% of a piece of music they did not write?

    It’s OK to ask for 100% writers share, that will not kill the deal. They can accept or reject, then Peter can make his decision. By not making a counter offer, you are showing a bit of “over anxiousness”…and that is not good. Best of luck to you Peter.

    #14601 Reply

    royalty collector guy, he is getting 1500$ per track upfront, you know what is 1500$ per track upfront those days? Please. I dont look at this as writer or publisher share, there is 100% (or 200% to be excat) that is on the line. Now, you choose if you want to convert those 50% future royalties of the “writer share” into money now, thats is your choice. It is known that musicians are not good business people. Maybe if he will use that future royalties of the “writer share” now he can grow bigger and make more money instead of risking the deal for more money down the line. You need to grow steady and slowley and not asking for too much for the first time.

    #14602 Reply

    Also, the “writer share” is not holy. OK you wrote the music, big deal, you know how many people write music now? Too much. It is all supply and demand. You need to adapt, and by being too attached to the writer share or any other aspect of this biz, you are definitely not adapting, and I thank you for that, more money for me.

    #14603 Reply

    Isn’t there some unwritten internet forum rule about writing under too many assumed names…like one for good cop and one for bad cop?


    …no wait, make that “sarcastic old know it all guy”

    or the “unknown Oracle?” 😀

    PS. I don’t think that asking for 100% writers share is greedy. Be prepared to accept a counter – counter offer of “OK, 100% writer’s share, but $500 per cue upfront instead.” The high upfront fee is most likely a form of compenstation for part of your writer’s share.

    …”wise a*s lawyer guy.”

    PSS. I’ll take the gig, if you don’t want it.

    _ Pragmatic Realistic Guy.

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