Upfront fees on exclusive album – deal breaker?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  b1nrybl0ke 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #31641 Reply

    b1nrybl0ke
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I’m working on a follow up album for a small indie library on an exclusive deal, 50% of performance royalties, 50% of license fees. The first album I did for the same guys 6 years back with no upfront fees as they were just starting out, after a slow start the album has done $$$$$ and the library is now fully represented by one of the big name publishers worldwide. I pitched the follow up idea to them and they were very keen. My question is, should I be pushing for an upfront fee (ideally recoupable only against the new tracks) and if yes, should it be a deal breaker?

    I appreciate any advice.

    #31644 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    Sure, push for an upfront fee. They might take away the 50% of license fees though. I would say consider no upfront fee a deal breaker if the deal is in perpetuity. If you can get a reversion clause where the tracks revert back to you after a few years if no placements you might give it more consideration.

    #31651 Reply

    b1nrybl0ke
    Participant

    Thanks for your input, Michael. The deal will be in perpetuity, and I’m reluctant to take a hit on the license fee share. I’m not sure the reversion clause would be a good fit in this instance given who they are partnered with, or maybe I’m being too negative?

    #31655 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    Hi, I tried to reply but it’s not showing up here. Drop me a PM or I’ll try to post again later.

    #31654 Reply

    Michael Nickolas

    Is the follow up idea done already or will you be creating it under their direction? What I mean is if the music is super simple for you to create or maybe done already, it may not bother you to give it away forever and hope for the best. Especially if they have a proven track record and you are happy to associate with a big name publisher. If you are creating it under their direction and they are going to be involved in producing by asking for many changes, rewrites, additions, edits and etc., well that may just be too much to ask for without upfront money.

    These are touch decisions to make, and everybody’s situation is different.

    #31656 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    I tried to reply but it’s not showing up here.

    Ended up in moderation queue Michael but now released. Have yet to figure out why innocuous posts end up there. Sigh.. Overactive spam filter I guess.

    #31657 Reply

    b1nrybl0ke
    Participant

    You raise some really good points, Michael.

    The original album took a while to make a decent return, and the library had some personnel issues which didn’t help. The placements have gathered pace over the last couple of years especially since they partnered with a strong agent in the US, and I felt it could be a good time to try and capitalise on the renewed interest in my music. They’re also pretty good at highlighting the profile of the writers with each release, which I like, and I don’t expect to be making many changes to the tracks once I’m happy with them. I’m a couple of weeks away from completion right now.

    I appreciate what you’re saying about giving the tracks away and hoping for the best, and if this library hadn’t stepped up lately there’s no way I’d be taking another punt. It feels like the right thing to do, it was just the upfront fees that had me wavering.

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