It’s becoming easier and easier each day for unsigned and independent artists to share their music on the internet. Having the access to such amazing technology is extremely beneficial for artists who want to reach their dreams of becoming a professional.
Unfortunately, many entertainment companies and agencies want to take advantage of new young artists. When you receive an offer from a company, it is important to know exactly what you are agreeing to before signing the contract.
It’s very easy for companies to hide things in small print to trick artists into signing a contract with them. It’s important to not let your excitement of finally being recognized as an artist by a label or agency completely blind you when it comes to red flags.
There are ways to protect yourself and prevent your dreams from turning into nightmares by simply signing a contract.
Hire an entertainment lawyer
Having an entertainment lawyer by your side will ensure that you get tricked into signing something that was never made clear to you. An entertainment lawyer will read over the contract and explain to you your rights.
Young artists are frequently getting taken advantage of in the entertainment industry and it is common with already established artists as well.
An entertainment lawyer can also help you to negotiate a better deal with the label or even receive a better contract.
Be cautious with contracts that last more than a year
Recording contracts are offered within the length of one year with options to renew the contract after a year has passed. Young artists need to be careful of signing a contract that lasts more than a year so they don’t risk dealing with a record company that wants to control them in terms of creativity.
It’s also important to test the label out before agreeing to stick with them for more than a year. It’s also helpful to keep your options open for when a better deal comes your way.
Request a release commitment
One of the unfortunate situations that new artists find themselves in after signing a contract is not having any of their work released.
A release commitment means that the record label guarantees the artist that their work will be produced and released to the public. Getting a release commitment will bring peace to your mind by knowing that you will at least get to release an album with the recording label.
Keep your royalty rate in check
Recording labels often offer their new artists a loyalty rate of 10 to 14 percent, so it’s important to check what the label is thinking of offering you. Record labels might try to convince you to accept a large bonus when signing a contract to make you forget about the royalty rate.
Consider looking at music contract template to get a feel of what other record labels initially offer their new artists.
Hire third-party auditor
A third-party auditor can ensure that the record label is paying you the amount that you deserve. It is the best way to prevent the entertainment company from keeping the money that you are entitled to.