This has got to be one of the most career limiting belief I have seen common with most artists. It is the belief that once they get signed or discovered that their job is done. They can now depend on the record label or publishing house to do all the work for them. Thankful there is a shift away from this sort of thinking but it is still very prevalent. Often when I would hear of artists I knew signing a deal I didn’t know whether to congratulate them or send them my condolences.
Labels and deals have their place, but it is a very broken and shacky system so as with any contracts both parties need to enter into an agreement with eyes wide open.
Here are some of the reasons why you should not enter into a deal:
- Through distribution channels like TuneCore and CD BABY you can now distribute your music worldwide on all the popular platforms and keep 100% of your ownership.
- You have no prior experience in the business and want someone to take care of that for you so you don’t have to think about it.
- You have no industry contacts and will be dependent completely on their resources and connections.
- Access to studios - With the technology available today, Home Studio productions are giving people unbelievable quality at affordable prices. For more on that check out sites like the recordingrevolution.com
Here are some of the reasons you should:
- You have built a strong team or reputation in the industry around your brand and your music so you are bringing something to the table as an equal or as a partner
- You can leverage some of your connections and resources by partnering
As you can see above there are far fewer reasons to sign with a label today then there were in the past. And if you don’t already have momentum and your own team to drive the process (i.e. Management, Lawyer and production team) then you will be on the back foot at the negotiation table and will most likely be taken advantage of.