If you’re a musician, you’ve probably dreamed of signing a record deal with a major label. But the truth is, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t sign one of these deals. First and foremost, major labels typically take complete control over an artist’s career. This means they get to dictate what kind of music you make, how you promote it, and where and when you tour. What’s more, they often exercise their power in ways that are outside the artist’s or music’s best interests. For example, they might push an artist to release subpar material to meet deadlines or force them to play shows that don’t make sense for their career. All of this can lead to problems down the road – both creatively and financially. So if you’re thinking about signing a major label record deal, beware! Many potential pitfalls come along with it.
Reasons why you should never sign a major label record deal
- You will likely never see any money from your record sales. The vast majority of music industry revenue comes from live performances and merchandise, not record sales. And even if you do sell records, the labels take the lion’s share of the profits.
- You will have very little creative control over your music. The label will decide which songs go on your album, how your album is marketed, and what kind of image you project to the public.
- You could be dropped from the label at any time, for any reason (or no reason). This is particularly true if you’re a small commercial success. If you are dropped, you will likely lose all rights to your music.
- You will be tied to the label for the duration of your contract, usually several years. This means you won’t be able to sign with another label, even if you’re not happy with the way your career is going.
- You could end up in debt to the label if your album sells poorly. Most labels require artists to repay advances and other costs associated with making and promoting an album, even if it flops.
So there, you have five good reasons to think twice before signing a major label record deal. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and some very successful artists have been able to make great careers within the major label system. But it’s probably best to steer clear if you’re starting out or not sure you’re ready to commit.
The pros and cons of signing a record deal with a major label
When an artist signs a record deal with a major label, they usually invest a large amount of money for the album recording and marketing costs. This can be beneficial to the artist because they will be able to afford how to finance their album. However, this advance must be repaid to the label through album sales, and if the album is not successful, the artist may find themselves in debt. In addition, major labels often have strict control over an artist’s creative freedom, which can be frustrating for artists who want complete control over their work. On the other hand, signing with a major label gives an artist access to a much larger audience and significantly more resources for promoting their music. So it depends on what is most important to the artist when deciding whether or not to sign with a major label.