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Points on an album: how exactly does this work?
Old 21st November 2019
  #1
Points on an album: how exactly does this work?

Howdy esteemed fellow slutz!

I have been a work-for-hire guy all my life, so I've never dealt with residuals on an album. However, that is about to change.

I will soon be working on a project with a friend who cannot afford to pay me my full rate; but in recognition and appreciation of the fact that I am still willing to take it on, he wants to give me a few points as a token of good will. It's a cool project, I feel strongly about the value of it being in the world, and I'm not hurting for money at this time; so as engineer/producer, I'm happy to be getting a couple of points on the album.

Now, I have no illusions about how much compensation I'll get from these points: likely very little. But there will be a (reputable) third-party label involved in the distribution, which will be international, physical, and also on multiple platforms; so I might actually make a dollar or two, and it would be fun to have residuals on something.

So how exactly does this work?
How to I make it a legitimate agreement, especially in light on the label being the distributor? and also to make it clear so that we can remain friends after the project is done ?
What basis is typically used for calculating points for a producer?
How do I go about tracking and/or collecting the 15 cents I will likely be making in total?

Thanks in advance for any insight.
Old 22nd November 2019
  #2
Gear Addict
Points are all fine and good but expect a Dumb-and-Dumber suitcase full of IOU's ("those are as good as cash") situation unless you have a 3rd party handling administration. When making a formal agreement for points awarded, you need to have language written into the agreement that specifies the length of which you will be awarded these royalties (push for in-perpetuity), who will be administering the royalties, and the frequency at which this happens (quarterly, bi-annually, annually, yada yada)

Make sure you have it written into the agreement that you are entitled to officially collated earnings reports. Whether you get them, who knows. But if the project does well, you'd be a happy camper with a formal agreement that honors your work and the arrangement.

I hate all of the legal gymnastics that goes into this "art" stuff sometimes, but I'd hate not having my points on the next to be-Ed Sheeran songs even more.
Old 22nd November 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
also- standard points awarded are as follows:

3 points for produce/mix
2 points for produce
1 point for mix

songwriting credit is separate. if you didn't write the chorus do not even think of asking for anywhere near 50%- that was a mistake i will only make once.
Old 24th November 2019
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by citrusonic View Post
Points are all fine and good but expect a Dumb-and-Dumber suitcase full of IOU's ("those are as good as cash") situation unless you have a 3rd party handling administration. When making a formal agreement for points awarded, you need to have language written into the agreement that specifies the length of which you will be awarded these royalties (push for in-perpetuity), who will be administering the royalties, and the frequency at which this happens (quarterly, bi-annually, annually, yada yada)

Make sure you have it written into the agreement that you are entitled to officially collated earnings reports. Whether you get them, who knows. But if the project does well, you'd be a happy camper with a formal agreement that honors your work and the arrangement.

I hate all of the legal gymnastics that goes into this "art" stuff sometimes, but I'd hate not having my points on the next to be-Ed Sheeran songs even more.
Thanks Citrusonic! Much appreciated. I guess I should try to find some sample agreements somewhere online as a baseline...
Old 24th November 2019
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by citrusonic View Post
also- standard points awarded are as follows:

3 points for produce/mix
2 points for produce
1 point for mix

songwriting credit is separate. if you didn't write the chorus do not even think of asking for anywhere near 50%- that was a mistake i will only make once.
It's more like 2 points/producer, 1 point mix if you're a super mix engineer and can make such demands, and 3 points if you're a super producer...(or maybe even more).

Songwriting is (as you say) something different; he's not writing the songs, he's not being offered publishing. Plenty of people who didn't write choruses gets 1/2 the song, much of the time these days splits go equally between whoever was in the room at the time!

It's far more likely for the mix engineer to be work for hire and have no royalties at all.

Really you need a lawyer to draw you up a contract. Which will probably cost more than the points will ever earn you. In theory your bud should pay for that but given costs involved probably not...in which case the label may have a "standard" contract, or maybe you've got a producer friend or two who've signed contracts in the past and that you can adapt?

It's not exactly watertight doing it this way but hopefully if the label is honorable good enough. Really they should just have a standard points contract; every major does (for example).

But yeah - generally you'd expect a quarterly report on sales, and payment too above a certain amount ($100?)
Old 5th December 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 
emrr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by citrusonic View Post
unless you have a 3rd party handling administration.
what does administration typically cost, and who pays it?
Old 6th December 2019
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
what does administration typically cost, and who pays it?
Not to say it doesn’t happen, but I’ve never heard of a 3rd party handling this.

What it means in practice that unless you’re dealing with a “proper” label - major, large indie or a “one artist” type setup (eg when an experienced artist distributes their own music), you’re probably not going to see proper accounting.

I suppose if someone uploads through an aggregator (as most non-labels do) you’re going to have some form of accountability. CDBaby/distrokid etc - you’ll be able to see what has happened at least, assuming you’re given access or delivered the reports.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
It's far more likely for the mix engineer to be work for hire and have no royalties at all.
thank god for that.

most engineers and studio owners would surely agree.

Real money, in Cash now , or points in 3 years maybe?

easy choice when there is rent to pay.

Buddha
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