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Production Book

Confessions of a Record Producer

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Table of Contents

Fast-Forward and Reverse
The Game
The Players
The Pros
The New Team
Lawyers
A&R
Managers
Publicists, Booking Agents, Tour Managers, And Image Consultants
The New Pros And The New Team
The Creators
Musicians
Songwriters
Engineers
Artists
Producers
Last But Not Least: Control Freaks
Companies, Companies, Companies
Record Companies
Production Companies
Publishing Companies
Copyright Administration Companies
Performing Rights Organizations
The Afm
Publicity Companies
Independent Promotion Companies
Distribution Companies
Digital Rights "aggregators" (or Digital Distributors)
The Harry Fox Agency (the Hfa)
The Riaa
Understanding Distribution,
The Big Three
What Is A Real Independent Label?
One-Deep And Two-Deep Labels
The Major Label Deal
Why Are We Still Talking About Albums And Cds?
Recoupable Financing—the Moving Goal Post
The Big Three Deal With Real Deal Numbers
Packaging Deductions And Giveaways
Breakage—the 90% Rule
The 3/4 Royalty
Deep In The Hole
Returns, Reserves, And Cutouts
Cross-Collateralization, Or Robbing Peter To Pay Paul
A Major Label Deal Is Like Having A Credit Card At 66% Interest
The 360 Deal
Drop-Kicked From The Roster
Time Warp: How Long Till The Record Comes Out?
Need And Greed: Be Careful What You Wish For
Publishing Deals
Three-Quarter Rate
Publishing Advances And Their Deductions
The Major Label Deal
The Artist/producer Conflict
The All-in Deal
Non-All-in Deals
The Spec Deal
Kickbacks
When The Producer Wants Publishing
The Major Label Deal
The Distribution Vig
Deductions
Image Molding
Sponsors
The Single
Who Picks The Single
The Hit Parade Charts And The "hit Single"
Airplay And Webcasting
Satellite, Internet, And Mobile App-Based Radio
The Independent Record Deal
The Independent Record Deal
The P&D Deal
How Artists Get On The Home Page
The Independent Record Deal
Publishing And Royalties
Indie In Disguise
Speed Trends
Super-Duper Cross-Collateralization
The Baby Record Deal
The Artist/producer Production Deal
End-Zoning—cutting Out The Producer
The Vanity Label
The Virtual Budget And The Virtual Producer's Fee
Producer's Compensation Package
The Producer As A Virtual Partner
Where's My Contract?
Holding The Masters
What You Don't Know Will Hurt You
Screwing The Producer, Or The Re-Record
Letters Of Direction (Lods)
Artist's Lod
Wrap-Up—who Earned What?
Artist
Producer
Record Company
Scams and Shams
Watching Your Back
The Myth of Copyright Protection,
Suing Stars
When Band Members Sue Each Other
More Problems With Suing Stars
Collecting Your Money
Blockage
Name Blockage
Sound-Alikes
Sample-Alikes
Master Fraud
Clears, Cleans, And Fake Masters
Soundtrack Scams And So-Called Cd Samplers
Cd Replicator Scams, Or Getting Duped By The Duper
Digital Deceptions And Itunes Scams
Streaming Services' Unallocated Receipts: Meta Data Mishegas
Independent A&R Services
Sneaky Lawyer Stuff
The "i Forgot To Mark The Contract" Trick
Virtual Terms
Internet Labels And Their "nonexclusive" Contracts
The Little Squeeze
Letters Of Misdirection
The First Draft Is The Coldest
"voted Out"—the Band As A Corporate Entity
Legal-Ease?
Decoding Of An Actual Warner Bros. Record Contract
Conclusion
Miscellaneous Myths And Untruths
Dogma
A Good Promotional Kit Is The Key
Gigging A Lot Is Good Exposure To The Industry
Second Sendings
"we Love It, But . . ."
Labels Sign Bad Acts For Tax Write-Offs
Soundscan Tells All
Illegal File-Sharing Is Killing The Music Business
ASCAP Vs. Bmi:
Preface
Overview Of The Battlefield: The Players And Their Game
Should You Bother To Join Either Of Them?
Who Pays More
So, Who Owns These Guys?
The Bully Factor
Conclusion
Production Boners
You Need A "master Quality" Demo To Get A Deal
You Must Record On A Digital Medium With At Least 100 Tracks
Marketing Mishigas
Lots Of Airplay Assures Big Record Sales
"we Get To Say What Our Album Art Will Look Like"
Record Industry Slumps Are The Direct Result Of Poor A&R Decision-Making
Getting Credit Where Credit Is Due
Look For The Union Label
Major Label Philosophy On Giving Credit To Sidemen And Engineers
The "co-Production" Credit
Industry Census
Are All The Powerful People In The Business Jews?
Are Women Discriminated Against In The Music Business?
The Big Picture,
Do Record Companies Really Make Any Money?
A Map Of The Financial Universe
Major Label Family Trees ("the Big Three") As Of 2015
Checklist For Disaster
Final Word
Appendix: Family Trees
Acknowledgments

For more than 15 years, Confessions of a Record Producer has exposed the inner workings of the music business and empowered artists to protect their interests. With inside knowledge and hard numbers, Moses Avalon reveals the truth of how the industry functions (or dysfunctions), showing what artists actually make from their “hits” and how producers, labels, managers, and even the artists' own lawyers conspire to rip them off.

This is the only music business trade book that:

• Intimately analyzes the differences between ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC

• Compares different types of record deals using real-world math and dollar figures

• Speaks critically about relationships between big industry entities and how they can hurt artists

• Gives the reasoning behind major industry trends and decisions, particularly recent deals with Spotify, Apple, etc.

Since the first edition's release in 1998, Confessions has grown from an underground favorite to a widely read staple, evolving along the way to address Internet-age realities and the pitfalls coming with rapidly changing technologies. This new, fifth edition tackles the complexities of music streaming and how the diminishing revenue it provides is becoming the new normal for an industry that has shrunk by half in less than two decades.

Fully updated with recent industry developments and the latest scams, Confessions of a Record Producer remains a must for artists who want to survive, thrive, and get their fair share.

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