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360 Deals in the Music Business & Recording Industry


A 360 deal basically gives the label’s talent a contract that ties in more than just selling music CDs and downloads.  Since some fans don’t want to buy music…and download it for free, the labels want a deal that will include making revenue from concerts, publishing and merchandise.

Note: Live Nation (reported) offered $150,000,000 for a ten-year deal with Jay-Z.

Paul Gardner, Esq.

Record labels invest an enormous amount of money into artists, and lately that investment has not been paying off.  2008 year-end sales figures just released by The Nielsen Co. show total album sales, including album equivalents made up of single digital tracks, fell to 428.4 million units, down 8.5 percent from 500.5 million in 2007.  Physical album sales fell 20 percent to 362.6 million from 450.5 million units.  Thus, the old way of artists giving up 85% of their album shares, but still profiting from their tours, their merchandising and their publishing; has now become the “360-Deal” or the “Multi-Rights Deal”. 

What this means is that not only do record labels get about 70-85% of album sales, they will also receive a cut of tour sales, merchandising, and publishing. However, 360 deals are not all that bad because a smart artist will receive a larger advance and up to 30% of album royalties (double the standard percentage).

Also, a smart artist realizes that a 360 deal, if leveraged correctly, will give the record label more incentive to push the artist, and market them in every possible way (more money for everyone involved)!

Paul Gardner represents entertainment clients in film, music, television and multi-media projects.

The Gardner Law Group
10 North Calvert Street, Suite 735 - Baltimore, Maryland 21202 -

(410) 545-0470

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