Today it's much more difficult for a producer to be compensated for his expertise. With budgets ever smaller (a small deal is now around $40-50k, down from around $200k) as a result of much lower music sales, just asking for a percentage of sales is like giving away your time in the project for nothing. That's why a producer today has to have a new strategy for getting paid, be it with a percentage of publishing or merch or a larger up front fee.
To help you make sure that you will get paid, here's an excerpt from The Music Producer's Handbook that outlines a few questions to ask of whomever is funding the project you're about to work on.
- Who’s paying? Is it a record label, the artist or band, or an investor?
- What’s my compensation? Will I be paid per song, on spec, hourly, a flat fee, or a percentage of sales for the project?
- Do I get an advance? How much is it? Can I get at least half up front?
- Can I get paid on something other than music sales? Since sales are pretty low these days, can I get a piece of merchandise or publishing?
- When am I getting paid? Do I get paid before the project beings or when it's complete? Half at the beginning and the other at the end? When I deliver the final product? Does that mean after mixing, mastering or manufacturing?
- How am I getting paid? Are you paying me in cash, by check or direct transfer to my bank account?
- Is my money part of the budget? Are you giving me the entire budget so I can pay the bills or am I giving you the bills for you to pay?
- Do I get paid from the sale of the first unit onward? Or will I be paid after any advance is recouped?
For read more book excerpts from this and other books go to bobbyowsinski.com.
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