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The record deal of the future?: inspired by La Russell & Tiffany Red

DIY artist-run record labels often struggle with contracts and percentages they are supposed to assign. This mainly stems from a lack of understanding of traditional contracts and copyright as a whole. However, many DIY labels don’t want to operate like traditional labels. This gives them a charged-up renegade feeling to be the fairest label on the block. But how does a new label balance fairness with making a profit?

As someone who has run an independent label and a publishing company, I understand the desire to make a fair deal. Balancing fairness and profit is a challenge, so how do you do this with a record label?

100% Ownership Share vs. 100% Profit Share

Because you are the record company, you should only split percentages of revenue through royalty shares and should NOT share ownership of the master recording copyright.


All advances must be paid back before any royalties can be paid out.

Breaking Down 25%

Here's how the percentage split can look:

  • Producer: 5% (Advance, all master revenue, session fee, multiple split)

  • Songwriter: 5% (Advance, all master revenue, session fee, multiple split)

  • Vocal Producer: 2% (Advance, all master revenue, session fee)

  • Engineer: 1% (No advance, work for hire, streaming only, session fee)

  • A&R/Project Manager: 3% (No advance, streaming only)

  • Executive Producer: 3% (No advance, streaming only)

  • Assistant: 1% (No advance, streaming only)

  • In-House Admin: 5% (Initial registration fee)

Why Add an In-House Admin?

As a publisher, I know that we collect a minimum of 15%, but we'd work harder if a portion of the master was shared, and we'd take less on the publishing side.

What Would an In-House Admin Do?

  • Collect and Disperse Royalties

  • Manage Metadata (DSP Management)

  • Contract Management/Splits Management

What’s the Problem with This?

Attorneys don’t like deals that go against the top labels because they can’t be converted. To graduate into the majors, this deal has to be restructured, which means you might lose your team going forward.

Can This Be Executed Today?


How Does This Look Down the Road?

Your in-house admin will still be working! The team will champion you more because they’re eating well. Everyone will want to work with you because of the way you do business. Plus, you still own 100% and collect 80%. You can still make a deal on 80% of the royalty if you need investment, and guess who’s going to help? Your in-house admin.

Think About This!

Give this a serious thinking session. This can really change your independent status and company. Hit me on the site if you try this out and it begins to work.

Check This Out!

If you're a music creative or executive looking to build your label or publishing company in 60 days or less, grab the 60-Day Record Label Course and get it done today! You’ll gain the ability to get real funding, avoid contractual pitfalls, and keep the middleman out of your pockets. Click the link below to get started now! If you’re skeptical, grab the free guide, "10 Ways to Increase Your Record Label Profits," which comes with a free split sheet download.

Successful Horizon

  • Hire more employees faster

  • Solid, cool, collected team

  • Better sleep at night

  • Cleaner name in the business

  • Trailblazer in the game

  • Better retention with your creators

Fall-Off Points

  • Stuck in the old cycle

  • Slower business growth due to lack of a team

  • Perception of just another label


Many of you want to create a fair environment with your recording team. Try out this new deal structure and watch how your team changes for you. An entrepreneur is an understatement.


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