How Big Platforms are Being Creative with Royalties
Handing over your music royalties seems like it’s the new swag. Although you might sign to a big label many artist have been Burnt. Big labels cutting you a check for $30k while they profit millions. “That’s why my team will stay independent” states Michael Hudgins owner of Beatbopper. Beatbopper”s team along with Media giant Hush Media Networks released Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica last year and it Billboard Charts. “We don’t have to worry about those scenarios Bc we own our music” said DJ Choice w/ Amada Records. Many artist just as recent as Taylor Swift has seen the horror of not owning your music. Artist should reconsider signing over your royalties to these big labels and choose an independent company like Beatbopper or Amada Records that can give the same results but allows artist to keep ALL royalties.
Below is an article from Rolling Stone That exemplifies why you should keep your royalties.
Anthony Ghnassia / Apple
Thanks to Taylor Swift, the world is talking about recorded music “masters” – and the perils facing artists who give them away to record companies. If you’re not up to speed, Swift has been left in a situation where the recorded music rights to her first six albums are owned by her ex-label, Nashville-based Big Machine. That label now looks set to sell these copyrights to a company led by Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun – whom Swift just publicly identified as a personal adversary.
The fact this saga is being played out in the glare of social media – in Swift’s case, via her Tumblr page – gives it a modern, real-time-soap-opera feel. But in truth, it’s a two-part story as old as the record industry itself: Part One – young artist signs to label, agreeing to hand over ownership of their copyrights in exchange for an advance check, studio time, and a promise of big bucks marketing; Part Two – young artist grows up, having seen their records become really successful, and rues the fact they can’t control their destiny.
These days, the sort of deal that the then-15-year-old Swift signed with Big Machine in 2006 is becoming increasingly uncommon. As she explained to her fans on Tumblr, Swift handed over rights to her music to Big Machine “in perpetuity… that means forever.”
Today, thanks to the explosion of streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music, plus the direct-to-fan marketing power of platforms like Instagram and Facebook, the leverage in the artist/label relationship has dramatically shifted. As a result, labels are signing artists later in their career, and typically only tying new acts down to a limited licensing pact – meaning that the ownership of masters will revert to the artist after, say, a decade has passed.
So why do artists, empowered by streaming and social media, still sign to record companies at all? Quite simply, because labels remain their best bet for glory. The current Rolling Stone Artists 500 chart does the legwork for us here: A quick glance down the Top 10 acts at the time of writing shows that all of them are signed to a major record company – Chance The Rapper excluded.
And, appropriately, it’s with Chance that the next chapter in the long, bumpy journey of artists holding on to their rights, and still succeeding at a blockbuster level, begins.