Record companies are usually managed one of two ways: by musicians, arrangers and producers who are deeply involved with the developing of talent and producing, or, by lawyers and accountants who manage the label and hire independent producers to develop the artists. The first tends to be a more creative managerial style, while the second usually has a more corporate structure. In both cases, it is important to maintain the publishing rights to your songs, when signing a recording contract. Some artists form their own publishing company to protect their rights.....
Planning the concept of the album and selecting the songs for the album is usually assigned to the A&R (Artist & repertoire) director and producer. If you are a songwriter, this is the time to fight for as many of your songs as possible. Producers usually earn a royalty on the record sales and on the songs used from their publishing company's catalog. The more you can negotiate to do in the making of your record, the more you will earn.
You will be given a budget to put your project together. This includes the cost of musicians, singers, producers and studio time.
After the record is recorded the promotional department plans the budget and campaign to publicize your record. This involves the assistance of advertising managers, media buyers, art directors, photographers, graphic artists, Web site and graphic designers and copywriters.
After the album is created, printed and shipped, promotional personnel seek to obtain radio airplay. Copies are given to record pools for local DJs to play in nightclubs. The product is shipped to media outlets for review. Videos are sent to television networks and local video show producers. And now with the emergence of the Internet, copies are now being sent to Web radio jocks for airplay and Webmasters for online reviews. The object of the media blitz is to create excitement and awareness of the new release. Keep in mind that radio airplay and record sales is the main factor in having a song enter and rise up the music charts. Most of the promotional effort is designed to get radio airplay and/or record sales.
Promotional tours by the artist are normally done to also generate awareness and sales. A typical artist appearance includes radio and print advertising, interviews, appearances, in-store autograph signing and more. In most instances it is also an opportunity for a group or artist to earn additional income. In many cases, it may take months before a royalty check is paid to an artist. Most record companies deduct the cost of making and promoting the album (including the cost of music videos) before paying royalties.
Most hit records include most if not all of the above. And remember, the cost of one project is usually in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and can run in the millions. This cost is deducted from the profit of the album sales before royalty checks are paid to the artists. When negotiating make sure you have a good lawyer or agent. The average life of an unprepared signed act is five years. Take the time to develop good performing, writing, and producing skills. And keep reaching for the stars!
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