Artists need a fair distribution deal
November 2, 2020
Sparked by Kanye’s Twitter essays, the debate and discussion around the money artists see from their work shows no sign of quietening.
At Beatchain, bad label, publishing and sync deals are something we’ve talked about a lot, so we’re glad to see this topic surfacing in the industry.
I’ve always said that labels have their place in music. But pushing for a label deal might not be in an artist’s best interest.
Firstly, waiting for a label to decide you should release music can steal time away from you, time that you could be using to build up your fan base independently.
Secondly, if you do eventually get a label deal, as Kanye’s tweets highlight, you might end up signing the ownership of your music away. He’s now thinking of buying a label to get around the problems of it all.
At the start of your career, you don’t need a label at all. If you have your sound, you should find fans to listen to it as soon as you can.
We strive to be the best an artist can get when it comes to distribution
Distribution today looks very different than it did in the past. Today, you just need a way of getting your music onto the DSPs that people use to listen (such as Spotify, for example).
At Beatchain we strive to make our deal the best an artist can get when it comes to distribution.
Our process is simple, so that artists don’t have to spend time figuring out what’s needed for each and every platform where they want to be seen and heard.
But also, we want to be fair and upfront to artists. A lot of the platforms offering distribution services have hidden costs, hidden restrictions or even hidden contracts.
Our free distribution service allows artists to distribute three releases each month, whether singles, EPs or albums, with no fee to pay at all.
A lot of the platforms offering distribution services have hidden costs, hidden restrictions or even hidden contracts
Our upfront deal is that we take 10 per cent of royalties when a song is streamed. We don’t ask for artists to sign away their masters, or even to lock in with us through subscription fees.
Other platforms ask for a subscription fee, and charge you for the product codes to release your music. That usually adds up to a larger sum than artists should be paying.
Other platforms also have artists sign rights of first refusal over to them, but don’t draw attention to it.
Those are the kinds of tricks you might expect from older industry deals – for example the deals that take masters ownership away from artists.
When an artist does grow with Beatchain, that success will be all theirs
Beatchain is more than just a distribution platform, but distribution is our baseline offering – something to help a new artist get their career going.
And once an artist sees results, we are also able to support them to grow, through Fan Builder and Insights.
Importantly, when an artist does grow with Beatchain, that success will be all theirs, because our deal takes minimal royalties and leaves artists owning their own masters.
As Kanye knows, being truly independent is key in the new music world.