Labels and The 360 Deals


A 360 Deal is when a Record Label has an artist sign into a deal stating they receive a cut of the artist’s merchandise, tours, CD sales, endorsements, etc. A 360 deal is a business relationship between an artist and a music industry company. It doesn’t have to be between record label and artist, as seen in the 2007 360 deal signed between Madonna and promoter Live Nation (Jay-Z signed a similar deal in 2008).

This is how a Record Label Deal works:

  • They forward the cost and pay for the manufacturing, distribution, press, and promotion of a project.
  • After them costs are paid for: The artist gets a royalty percentage.  (Note: If your video costs $100,000 to make and the Record Label forwarded only $50,000, Guess who won’t see royalty for quite some time until the whole $100,000 they dished out is earned back?)
  • Due to them forwarding/fronting the money to the artist, they have them sign over the copyrights of the project to the Record Label. After all, they did give you $50,000 towards your project, (*shady dealings at work*)
  • Even though the artist shared the costs of making the album/project, the Artist has no ownership of their masters. Thus booming the business of the Record Label once again.

Point Being:  Beware of ‘Too Good To Be True’ Opportunities!  Always Do Your Homework and Read the Fine Print TWICE!

Good Luck to Hip Hop Artists!

Touring and making money is not usually lucrative for the artists and making videos cost considerable amounts of money. So, artists look for others ways to profit. One major revenue stream is: Endorsements. Before 360 deals, the revenue of endorsements were solely theirs. But thanks to 360 deals, artists can see percentages of that taken also.

Now that the Labels have control of you and your branding, they’ll want to stretch you out to the public however you’ll fit in financially.  Back in the day when music was the main product, Labels would push artists to make more music to fulfill the supply and demand of their own pockets.  It’s is all about marketing now.  If the public wants it, the record labels want to give it to them.  Even if this means changing the artist’s branding to something that the public statistically will spend more money on.  Thought you were always going to be a rapper? Not if there’s money in you acting, dancing or whatever else they see fit! Rep to Protect? Oh Well! Your ‘Rep’ is owned by others now!

You Are an Entrepreneur but you may not be equipped to talk business so hire an Attorney!

With any contracts, you should have an attorney look it over and explain it to you but considering how in-depth 360 Deals are, it is imperative you do not go it alone! Do not forget these Labels have hired the best people to form these contracts.  Many of the contracts can contain loop-holes average artists may miss.

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