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About This Course

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone interested in pursuing a record deal should watch this class!
  • Anyone who has always wondered how much musicians really make from a record deal should watch this class.
  • Anyone who has just wondered how record labels work will enjoy this class.

What you’ll learn: 

  • The ins-and-outs of traditional record labels and independent record labels
  • What advantages and disadvantages exist for “going it alone” without a record label
  • A typical recording contract, so students know what to expect, and how to negotiate
  • Working with Producers
  • Distribution
  • Loan-Outs
  • Roles of a Record Label
  • Work For Hire
  • Score of a Record Deal
  • 360 Deals
  • Options
  • Release Commitments
  • Advances
  • Recoupment
  • Payback
  • Royalties
  • Merchandise
  • Videos
  • Producer Contracts


  • There are no course prerequisites. Students should be ready to discuss the intricacies of a record contract, but no familiarity with contracts or contract law is required.

Welcome to the “Musician’s Guide” Series!

This series is pulled directly from the courses I’ve created for my university position in Music Business. All of these courses are designed for the everyday musician – amateur or professional – who has little or no knowledge on the topic, but wants to master it.

This class is all about Record Labels and Record Deals.

It is ideal for anyone who is interested in seeking out a record deal or is already considering one.

  • Musicians: If you are making music, and considering a record deal, please watch this class!
  • Producers: Before you sign on the dotted line, watch this class to be sure you understand everything you are signing up for.
  • Bands: Maybe you are considering avoiding record labels, and starting your own independent label. This class is for you, too!
  • Curious Minds: Anyone interested in how record labels work is invited to be a part of this class.

We will start with traditional record label deals, and progress forward to talking about more modern deals. We will talk a lot about the “need” for a record deal in the modern age, and how you can get by without one at all. I’ll walk you through every issue in the contract so you fully understand what is being asked.

The goal of this class is for you to understand what is in-between the lines of the contract.

If you are ready to start making money from your music, and making sure you are protected, this class will start you on that journey. Get started today.

Our Promise to You

By the end of this course, you will have learned how to safely pursue a record deal.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. If you are unsatisfied for any reason, simply contact us and we’ll give you a full refund. No questions asked.

Get started today and learn more about recording labels and deals.

Course Curriculum

2h 40m

Section 1 - Introduction And Overview
Introduction 00:00:00
What We Are Covering Here 00:00:00
Tools You Will Need For This Class 00:00:00
Disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer 00:00:00
Section 2 - Definitions
Producer 00:00:00
The “Master” 00:00:00
Record Company 00:00:00
Distribution 00:00:00
Loan-Out Company 00:00:00
Section 3 - How A Recording Company Works (Traditionally)
The 5 Roles Of A Traditional Record Company 00:00:00
What We Can Do Ourselves 00:00:00
Do Artists Still Need A Record Label? 00:00:00
Section 4 - Parties And Scope
Work For Hire 00:00:00
Loan-Outs 00:00:00
Scope Of The Contract 00:00:00
The 360 Deal 00:00:00
Section 5 - Term
What Is A Term? 00:00:00
Additional Songs 00:00:00
Options 00:00:00
Making 10 Albums Doesn’t Mean Releasing 10 Albums 00:00:00
Section 6 - Release Commitment
The Fiona Apple Situation 00:00:00
Listen: Unreleased Version 00:00:00
So What Happened? 00:00:00
Listen: Released Version 00:00:00
How Did It Get Solved? 00:00:00
The Release Commitment 00:00:00
Section 7 - Advances
The Million Dollar Record Deal 00:00:00
Recoup 00:00:00
Payback 00:00:00
Section 8 - Royalties
What Kind Of Royalties? 00:00:00
Royalty Basis 00:00:00
Royalty Rate 00:00:00
“All In” Contracts 00:00:00
Deductions: Breakage 00:00:00
Deductions: Licensed Re-Sellers 00:00:00
Deductions: Container Charges 00:00:00
Deductions: Bargain Bins 00:00:00
Deductions: New Configurations 00:00:00
Deductions: Foreign Territories 00:00:00
Deductions: Sales Incentives 00:00:00
Deductions: Promotional Copies 00:00:00
Section 9 - Math Time
Calculation For Royalties Of A Physical CD 00:00:00
Recoup Amount 00:00:00
Calculation For Royalties Of A Digital Sale 00:00:00
Recoup Amount 00:00:00
Section 10 - Merchandise
Merchandising Rights 00:00:00
Merchandising Companies 00:00:00
Payments 00:00:00
Section 11 - Videos
Works For Hire 00:00:00
Who Pays? 00:00:00
Whose Vision? 00:00:00
Section 12 - 360 Deals
Why? 00:00:00
Taylor Swift Example 00:00:00
Section 13 - Producer Agreements
The Producer 00:00:00
Example: George Martin 00:00:00
When George Martin Met The Beatles 00:00:00
“Development Deals” With A Producer 00:00:00
Section 14 - Wrap Up
What Comes Next? 00:00:00
Thanks For Watching! 00:00:00
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