You are here

£0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Advice on everything from getting your music heard to setting up a label and royalties.

£0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:01 am

Hi All,

I've been given a contract for my new album by a label which states that I get 50p for each album sold in the UK and 35p everywhere else. Is this about right? The label has a big distribution network and the albums (mainly sold in CD form) go for around £10 each.

Any advice much appreciated!
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby BJG145 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:18 am

Depends on circumstances really, but it sounds like you're in a similar position to last year, and still aren't entirely happy about it. Is this the same company...? Have you tried to negotiate a better deal...?

http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/showf ... 65&fpart=1
User avatar
BJG145
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2986
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:00 pm
Location: Norwich UK

 


Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:26 am

Yup, same firm. The album was put on the back burner for a while, but now its finished, and now I have the actual contract, rather than just an email with a rough idea of splits.

Narco suggested in that last thread that I look at negotiating...I might try that, but is it normal practice to be issued a contract as a basis for negotiation or are labels not usually expecting any comeback, ie, just a signature? What I don't want to do obviously is p1ss them off by appearing like a money grabbing git. But, of course, my fuel bill is rising daily!
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby Steve Morley » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:41 pm

It is normal to negotiate, they did you an offer and you can take them up on it or refuse and come with a counter offer. In 20 years as a pro I have very rarely just accepted an offer, most of the time it came down to negotiations. Not just about royalties and advances, sometimes over the lenght of copyright, territories or even something small as packaging deductions.
Always make sure you know exactly what is in the contract (I know obvious but many people assume things and get burnt). Make sure you are actually happy with all the points in the contract, once signed there is no way back unless the label break the terms of it.
Steve Morley
Poster
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:00 am

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby narcoman » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:09 pm

That's low.

A £10 CD would have a dealer price of something like £6.

Publishing total on that would be 51p. A low 12% royalty for recording would be 72p. This should give you £1.23. There IS often a deduction for foreign sales - but not down that much


Honestly - I would just walk away from a deal like that. It's promoting shoddy practise and just won't be worth your while..... unless you feel it's worthwhile for one single punt.
narcoman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3439
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:00 pm
Battenburg to the power of 20 - said by Richie Royale in a moment of genius. 4pm. Wed 16th Nov 2011. Remember where you were....

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby Scramble » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:25 pm

>What I don't want to do obviously is p1ss them off by appearing like a money grabbing git.

I really don't think you're going to come across as a "money-grabbing git".
Scramble
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2220
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 11:00 pm

 


Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:57 pm

It turns out that the company will allow me to purchase CDs for £1 each, and sell as many as I like, keeping all the profits, as long as I don't target outlets in the label's existing distribution network.

So if they sell (as they do) for £10 + p+p, and I buy 100,000, this time next year, Rodney... (Ok, just a slight marketing hurdle to get over...)

But seriously, the label actively encourages the artist to do this to become self sufficient.

Your thoughts?
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby VOLOVIA » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:40 am

As a curio... did this company give you any form of advance, i.e. the full recording costs and promotion for instance? Or did you just handed in the masters?
This would make a lot of difference in the end..
If they only took your finished product, then I will print your CDs and sell them back to you at £0.90 cents, leaving me with a neet profit and higher profit margins for you!
Plus, if I sell a few CDs myself, or even, dare I say, your music takes off, I will have you 'signed up' and in for real dosh!
Are they so clever?
User avatar
VOLOVIA
Regular
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: London

VOLOVIA - FACEBOOK - TWITTER

Songwriter/guitarist


Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby ken long » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:48 am

narcoman wrote:
Honestly - I would just walk away from a deal like that. It's promoting shoddy practise and just won't be worth your while..... unless you feel it's worthwhile for one single punt.
User avatar
ken long
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3161
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:00 am
Location: The Orient, East London

I'm All Ears.


Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:42 am

bugiolacchi wrote:As a curio... did this company give you any form of advance, i.e. the full recording costs and promotion for instance? Or did you just handed in the masters?
This would make a lot of difference in the end..
If they only took your finished product, then I will print your CDs and sell them back to you at £0.90 cents, leaving me with a neet profit and higher profit margins for you!
Plus, if I sell a few CDs myself, or even, dare I say, your music takes off, I will have you 'signed up' and in for real dosh!
Are they so clever?

No, no advance, I came to them with the concept - which they liked, but I financed the recording myself - though most of it was done at home in my studio, and I played all the instruments. However, they do have good distribution, and a promo machine set up, but obviously this promo only yields sales through their channels, i.e, £0.50 for me on each album. For me to make the £9 mark-up, I'd need to promote though other channels. Hmm, I can see your point.

It was an enjoyable thing to make, and having a commission for my 'own' album (as opposed to all the other stuff I do which is collaborative), was kind of like holding a glass of water to a bloke lost in the desert, and for me £0.50 per album is better than £0.00. They do expect to sell between 2k and 5k year on year, and there's plenty of scope for me to create more stuff. I'm kind of resigned to the fact that this stuff is quite specialised, and therefore a challenge to market - it'd take me many years to build a similar kind of distribution network in order to increase my chances of a higher earning from the same kind of material...

If anyone wants to have a listen, pm me and I'll send through some stuff. Marketing advice is welcome - I've got lots more ideas along a similar line.
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby feline1 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:28 am

well be fair, they gotta allow for vinyl breakages...
User avatar
feline1
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2461
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK

~~~ A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen as you are tossed with! www.feline1.co.uk ~~~


Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby kevin4kjrm » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:15 am

I'd recommend NEGOTIATE upwards, you're not being greedy! Plus you should seriously think about marketing your music online yourself there are lots of opportunities
User avatar
kevin4kjrm
Poster
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:00 pm

LOST *DELETED*

Postby Thesoundmatrix » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:54 am

Post deleted by Zukan
Thesoundmatrix
Poster
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:00 pm

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:55 pm

Hi TSM, I've PM'd.
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby petev3.1 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:10 pm

I find it hard to believe that someone would offer just 50 pence a go when there are no upfront costs and therefore no risk, not even any manufacturing. And even less if the purchaser lives overseas, for reasons that are incomprehensible to me. They must have an amazing marketing team to make such a deal worthwhile. Still, perhaps they do. Seems to me you're just paying them £5.50 for each sale, which doesn't sound cheap.

Does this company specialise in this sort of simple marketing/licensing deal, as opposed to longer term deals with artists etc? I've thought for a while that this is a good biz model nowadays, but 50p an album is derisory imho. To me it suggests that the company isn't very confident of its own abilities or doesn't think a lot of the album. But I'm rather naive about all this. Maybe things really have got this bad.
petev3.1
Frequent Poster
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:00 pm

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby Dave B » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:53 pm

You mention a price for the CD - out of interest, what are you being offered for the download? Would this company expect to release it as a download, or would you be able to do that yourself? Also, is this just a distribution deal or does it cover the publishing?

Me, I was a DIY man myself in the day (and may be again soon) but I dealt in small runs so it made more sense for me to do it.
User avatar
Dave B
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2962
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Maidenhead

Veni, Vidi, Aesculi

(I came, I saw, I conkered)


Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby sthum » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:01 pm

God... .50p per album...


That sounds awful low... I think I'll just pack it in now


Where can I check out your music?
sthum
Regular
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:00 pm

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:15 pm

petev3.1 wrote:I find it hard to believe that someone would offer just 50 pence a go when there are no upfront costs and therefore no risk, not even any manufacturing. And even less if the purchaser lives overseas, for reasons that are incomprehensible to me. They must have an amazing marketing team to make such a deal worthwhile. Still, perhaps they do. Seems to me you're just paying them £5.50 for each sale, which doesn't sound cheap.

Does this company specialise in this sort of simple marketing/licensing deal, as opposed to longer term deals with artists etc? I've thought for a while that this is a good biz model nowadays, but 50p an album is derisory imho. To me it suggests that the company isn't very confident of its own abilities or doesn't think a lot of the album. But I'm rather naive about all this. Maybe things really have got this bad.

It seems to me that the company is maxing out on long shelf life. 95% of their business is from physical sales, and they never reduce the price. So, yes, short-term I'm not ordering a Bentley but I'm interested in seeing how the long-tail pans out...

The distribution network is substantial particularly in the US and Europe, so my thoughts are that I'm looking at a small slice of an enormous pie, as opposed to a large slice of bugger all - which is probably what I'd get if I relied on my own marketing expertise!
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:16 pm

sthum wrote:God... .50p per album...


That sounds awful low... I think I'll just pack it in now


Where can I check out your music?

There's a link from my website.
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:17 pm

Dave B wrote:You mention a price for the CD - out of interest, what are you being offered for the download? Would this company expect to release it as a download, or would you be able to do that yourself? Also, is this just a distribution deal or does it cover the publishing?

Me, I was a DIY man myself in the day (and may be again soon) but I dealt in small runs so it made more sense for me to do it.

Download, Ha! 35p. But most of their sales are physical.
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby narcoman » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:38 pm

basilfawlty wrote:
It seems to me that the company is maxing out on long shelf life. 95% of their business is from physical sales, and they never reduce the price. So, yes, short-term I'm not ordering a Bentley but I'm interested in seeing how the long-tail pans out...

The distribution network is substantial particularly in the US and Europe, so my thoughts are that I'm looking at a small slice of an enormous pie, as opposed to a large slice of bugger all - which is probably what I'd get if I relied on my own marketing expertise!

That doesn't matter - it's just not in line with the rest of the world. You should be looking at 12% on PPD plus 8.5% on publishing against PPD. So a total 20.5%.... Even with a cut throat USA model you're still looking at 8% retail for master and 6.5% retail for publishing..... still 14.5%. It's just way way too low....... the clues are in the biz plan. If they sold any kind of bulk then they'd be certain of recoup at their end early on. It sounds very much like they sell small numbers of CDs over a long period that, with a larger catalogue, allows them to make a comfortable income en masse but fek all for their artists/content providers.

They sound like an unfair bunch of music leeches!!!

Double it and you might be talking.....
narcoman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3439
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:00 pm
Battenburg to the power of 20 - said by Richie Royale in a moment of genius. 4pm. Wed 16th Nov 2011. Remember where you were....

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:56 pm

narcoman wrote:
basilfawlty wrote:
It seems to me that the company is maxing out on long shelf life. 95% of their business is from physical sales, and they never reduce the price. So, yes, short-term I'm not ordering a Bentley but I'm interested in seeing how the long-tail pans out...

The distribution network is substantial particularly in the US and Europe, so my thoughts are that I'm looking at a small slice of an enormous pie, as opposed to a large slice of bugger all - which is probably what I'd get if I relied on my own marketing expertise!

That doesn't matter - it's just not in line with the rest of the world. You should be looking at 12% on PPD plus 8.5% on publishing against PPD. So a total 20.5%.... Even with a cut throat USA model you're still looking at 8% retail for master and 6.5% retail for publishing..... still 14.5%. It's just way way too low....... the clues are in the biz plan. If they sold any kind of bulk then they'd be certain of recoup at their end early on. It sounds very much like they sell small numbers of CDs over a long period that, with a larger catalogue, allows them to make a comfortable income en masse but fek all for their artists/content providers.

They sound like an unfair bunch of music leeches!!!

Double it and you might be talking.....

In answer to my original question, the general consensus seems to be 'rip off'. But, there are no negotiations to be had. All the artists on the label get exactly the same deal (there are a lot of 'em, too). Also, the sort of material I've done for them will likely see good sales there, but would get very little elsewhere. Small slice of a big pie vs vice versa. I'm hearing what you're saying, though!
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby R_A » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:38 pm

basilfawlty wrote:Hi All,

I've been given a contract for my new album by a label which states that I get 50p for each album sold in the UK and 35p everywhere else. Is this about right? The label has a big distribution network and the albums (mainly sold in CD form) go for around £10 each.

Any advice much appreciated!

How many do you expect to sell (based on the sales figures of other artists on the label)?
User avatar
R_A
Regular
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:00 pm

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:45 pm

R_A wrote:

How many do you expect to sell (based on the sales figures of other artists on the label)?

They reckon upwards of 2000 per year.
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby narcoman » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:04 pm

so they'd gross £20k and you'd get £400 !!! Well.... up to you I guess!!!
narcoman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3439
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:00 pm
Battenburg to the power of 20 - said by Richie Royale in a moment of genius. 4pm. Wed 16th Nov 2011. Remember where you were....

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:38 pm

narcoman wrote:so they'd gross £20k and you'd get £400 !!! Well.... up to you I guess!!!
Yup, thats about the size of it. However, their distributors take a slice, and the stockists, etc. Plus its long-tail - there's no sell-by date on this kind of thing. I totally hear what you're saying, but this is probably the only way this particular album will sell with no marketing budget this end.
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby Scramble » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:25 pm

basilfawlty wrote:Plus its long-tail - there's no sell-by date on this kind of thing.


So in a few years another... well, another few hundred quid will (or might) roll in.

If you knocked it up in a week and don't care about the music and can't be bothered spending money getting it manufactured yourself then I can understand dumping it on to these people. If it's your pride and joy that you've slaved over and you're going to work hard on helping to promote then I wouldn't let these people anywhere near it. If it's in-between then I'd still release it myself. £400 is just not worth it. Or is it that you want to get the name known? (I presume it's just a one-album deal and you keep the rights to the name.)

Having listened to it, it's never going to sell like Enigma -- Enigma sold a lot because as well as having catchy melodies, people bought it as, er, bedroom music.
Scramble
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2220
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 11:00 pm

 


Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:15 am

Scramble wrote:

If it's your pride and joy that you've slaved over and you're going to work hard on helping to promote then I wouldn't let these people anywhere near it. If it's in-between then I'd still release it myself. £400 is just not worth it. Or is it that you want to get the name known? (I presume it's just a one-album deal and you keep the rights to the name.)

Having listened to it, it's never going to sell like Enigma -- Enigma sold a lot because as well as having catchy melodies, people bought it as, er, bedroom music.

Well, many thanks for taking the time to have a listen. I'm selling it myself as well - and am in the process of sorting out a meeting with a decent plugger with a view to getting airplay on relevant airwaves.

As for the bedroom, well, not tried it, but I get your point.
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby Dave B » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:21 pm

If you can sell over 150 yourself then it becomes financially viable.

I'm reckoning on a cost of about a grand to get at least 500 CDs made including glass mastering and some artwork. (Someone please shout if this old fogey is way out here - but I'm fairly sure that's what it was about 10years ago). So you'd have to see 100 just to break even. Then about another 50 to cover the 400quid you'd make from the record company.

Surely there must be enough of an Electronica scene here in the UK to support that!
User avatar
Dave B
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2962
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Maidenhead

Veni, Vidi, Aesculi

(I came, I saw, I conkered)


Re: £0.50 per album: normal or a rip off?

Postby basilfawlty » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:22 am

Dave B wrote:If you can sell over 150 yourself then it becomes financially viable.

I'm reckoning on a cost of about a grand to get at least 500 CDs made including glass mastering and some artwork. (Someone please shout if this old fogey is way out here - but I'm fairly sure that's what it was about 10years ago). So you'd have to see 100 just to break even. Then about another 50 to cover the 400quid you'd make from the record company.

Surely there must be enough of an Electronica scene here in the UK to support that!

I don't doubt you're right. Under the terms of this deal though I do get to sell physical copies myself so long as I'm not trying to encroach on the label's existing distribution network.
basilfawlty
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:00 am
There are 10 types of people in this world - 9 who understand binary; the rest are like me.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest