Artists

Why will radio not play my music?

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There are many factors as to why radio won’t play your music but one of the major ones is that no-one knows about you. Producers can provide a plan and project timeline for artists with no industry contacts, or else utilize your contact base to fast-track the timeline.

First time success in this industry is very rare and it’s usually a case of profile build-up with 3 tracks over a 12-18 month timeline for a new artist.

How much should a professionally produced single cost?

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Traditionally artists have looked towards New Zealand on Air’s single budget ($5,000 + GST) as a rough estimate for what a professionally single recorded should cost. The emphasis here is on professionally RECORDED. This figure concentrates on the recording aspect of a single and unfortunately does not take into account what a producer can bring to the table with regards to song, sonic direction, arrangement, contacts, and the work involved to complete a recording which has a higher chance of commercial success.

You could argue that if a song has received this funding then it should probably have a good chance of commercial success anyway but if you look at the statistics as to which songs have a life after NZOA funding then more often than not they are the ones which have involved a producer.

Are record deals relevant anymore?

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They can be but it depends on the situation. What labels still have is the established contact networks within the media, marketing and industry distribution channels. If a project takes off no-one as yet is in a position to challenge the speed and resources a major label can bring to the table in those circumstances.  Most artists these days will be aligning themselves with an independent label or management who will try and do some of the traditional record company’s role(s).   A producer can also help here as they often have a network of contacts to help achieve the artist’s goals.

At what stage should I involve a producer in my project?

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As soon as possible.  Having an experience producer involved from the onset of a project can provide realistic estimates on costs, time, and artistic statements.  What you may spend getting a producer involved early on can make a huge difference to savings further down the line as more often than not artists will find themselves rewriting, retracking, and remixing material to try and break themselves into the industry.

What is a 360 deal?

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360 deals are contracts that allow a record label to receive a percentage of the earnings from ALL of a band’s activities instead of just record sales. Under 360 deals, also called “multiple rights deals,” record labels may get a percentage of things that were previously off limits to them, like:

  • Concert revenue
  • Merchandise sales
  • Endorsement deals
  • Ringtones

In exchange for getting a bigger cut from the artists they represent, the labels say they will commit to promoting the artist for a longer period of time and will actively try and develop new opportunities for them. In essence, the label will function as a pseudo-manager and look after the artist’s entire career rather than only focusing on selling records.

360 deals are controversial for a lot of reasons. First of all, they’re often seen a cynical money grab by labels that are facing dwindling sales and high overhead. The charge is that labels have survived a long time without these kinds of deals, so it would seem that they’re suffering from a failure to manage their businesses and react appropriately to the changing industry – asking the bands to foot the bill hardly seems fair. Other people object to the whole “band branding” notion that makes 360 deals so potentially profitable for labels. A great example is The Pussycat Dolls. Sure, the branding has been a huge success – but where exactly does the music fit into the picture?

Labels counter that these deals let them sign different kinds of artists because they don’t have to be so focused on recouping their investment from album sales. They can stop chasing the instant number one and work with artist in the long haul because they don’t need to rely on big sales figures alone to make signing the artist profitable.

Controversial or not, 360 deals are becoming increasingly common in major label contracts.

What are producer points?

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Producer points are the percentage of royalties a producer gets for working on an album. The easiest way to look at points is to consider one point to be equal to one percent. Points can be awarded in a few different ways:

  • Points on the entire album (for instance, the producer gets 3 points on the whole record, meaning they get 3% of the royalties).
  • Points on particular songs on the album (so, if the the producer gets 2 points on 5 songs on an album that has 12 songs, they get 5/12 of 2% of the royalties for the album).

Sometimes, points are paid based on the dealer pricer for the album, and sometimes they are paid on the retail price.

Keep in mind that points are not awarded to all producers, and that the number of album points actually given can vary greatly, from one point to up to five points or more, depending on the producer. Sometimes, deals are structured so that the points a producer receives increases as the album meets certain sales thresholds. You should always get any deal regarding points in writing before you begin the recording process.

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