Home Music Lane

It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.

I dispute one of his factual contentions

The letter-writer claims that record labels view royalty advances as wagering, that advances are recoupable only from royalties, and that if the record does not make money, the record labels write the advances off.

These statements are not always true. If we are talking about fairly trivial amounts of money, for many labels they might be true. Keeping in mind that all the money artists receive in respect of a recording might not be advances from a legal point of view; some musicians may be entitled to union minimum payments for the recording sessions, and those would not be advances.

There have been famous cases where performers or bands got in over their heads when the advances were legally loans--either having to record more albums at very reduced royalties (or no royalties) or, tour to raise cash to repay the advances in cash.

This last was the choice made by The Grateful Dead when the huge advances paid to induce them (IIRC) to change labels were in fact loans, and the maiden LP on the new label did not do well. So The Dead toured for almost two years, just to repay the advances.

Ciao,

JM


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