Music marketing and advances go hand in hand. Even though the latter is not a strategy to achieve the former, technically speaking, it’s still a crucial part of becoming a music producer. Therefore, we believe it’s a good idea to define the basics of how they work and why you should care.
Advances: What are Those?
As mentioned in our entry “Getting Paid: Music Producers’ Income,” advances are those payments a record label makes before you do the work. Suggested in this action is the fact that these companies give you the money to get everything going. And this is not only in terms of the actual investment to produce the song or album, but also part of the economic remuneration you deserve for your work.
Like you might know at this point, music producers usually work on a contract by contract basis. In turn, this means that there’s a plethora of specifications that each contract follows, which can have strings attached to them (that might not always be as beneficial to your career and your financial stability). Even though it’s exciting when the time for an advancement comes in your musical adventure, make sure to read every bit of the contract carefully so you can make the best decision for you.
Cost and Benefit
Every business has a predatory side to it—and the music industry is no exception. Advances come from record labels, mostly, which will always look for a way in which to obtain a benefit from the negotiation. This background is just to say that every company calculated advances differently. As a result, there’s no one particular formula to do so. Regardless, there are some coincidences. For instance, the labels generally take into consideration how much they can afford to pay while still having enough cash left to promote the album release. Larger labels add the factor of music promotion into the list.
Music Marketing and Advances: Two Types
For you to further your career, and consequently its growth, you should know that there are two basic types of advances. First, there’s the masters advance. This one refers to the money you obtain from digital recorded music royalties, such as Spotify and Apple Music. In this category there are the sales from physical products, like vinyls and CDs. Secondly, there’s the publishing advance. This type includes publishing royalties specifically; in other words, the money you make from ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and other similar institutions. With this one you should know that there’s no additional payment until the record label has recouped the investment.
Music Marketing and Advances: Conclusion
As you can see, advances are no music marketing strategy. However, they’re crucial once you begin your own promotion journey. Everything you can gather regarding technicalities—and most importantly those that have to do with income—are worth reviewing so you can make your plans as realistic—and doable—as possible.