This question comes up a lot. Here is the best way to answer it because it's highly situational.
The short and best answer is, "it depends on the amount of leverage you have."
What is leverage?
Leverage is the ability for you to achieve something on your own, using your own strength, and resources, and buzz, and clout, without the help of anyone.
Leverage is the extent to which you can go about getting things done and making new relationships on your own.
Leverage "is" the existing relationships you already have.
So let's say a major label approaches you about a "publishing deal" and they want 50% of your publishing.
Let's also say that you are already well known and you actually have a few of these types of deals on the table with other entities.
Now you have "leverage" because more than one entity is highly interested in you and you now have the ability to go back to the other company and ask for a better deal, since you already have another company that has "matched" their offer.
From there it becomes a "bidding war", of who will give you the best contract and you get to sit back and see who is going to make you an offer that you can't resist.
That is in the BEST case scenario category.
On the other end of that, is where you have a situation where you are being offered a publishing deal, you don't have that many connections, the people offering you a deal just believes in you and your music.
They may see you have raw talent.
Now in this situation you can evaluate it in many different ways, but we'll explore 2.
a. This entity might have a LOT of pre-existing relationships that you DON'T have and they may have the power and influence to get your music chosen and get you a lot of placements that you probably would have never gotten. This would be regarded as a beneficial situation for you because you stand to gain so much that you most likely wouldn't be able to gain on your own nearly in the time you can do it with them.
b. The other way to evaluate this is to see who they are, what their resources are, are they new, do they have connections, will they be focusing on YOU and other factors. Some companies will just sign someone for the sake of acquiring more talent, without the real intention of "pushing" you or promoting you.
You have to go into the situation ready to either ask a ton of questions: this is what a manager is for, or b, already have pre-existing knowledge of the company that's trying to give you a deal, so you can accurately size them up and evaluate what exactly they can do for you.
In a publishing and/or co-publishing deal, you enter into an agreement with another party to essentially shop your catalogue of music around to different entities they most likely have pre-existing relationships with people that are looking for the type of music you produce.
In an admin deal, you might already have all of the connections and relationships you need, but you need someone to get your business straight because you know you'll have a hard time "doing all of that stuff".
In that situation, then that could be the best route for you.
So all in all it really depends on what your situation is and what the deal is that's being offered to you.
I can help consult you on the path that makes most business sense, in terms of the music industry but I can't help you on anything contractual. For that I have to refer you to an attorney, and one of my best friends is a high flying Entertainment Law attorney who works for Jonnie Cochran's Law Firm so if that is necessary, I also have a direct contact for that as well for you.
As you see this membership is geared to help you in a multitude of ways, so keep working hard, keep making beats. You have the talent, all you need to do is discover more and learn more and keep me updated on the deal and keep asking me questions and I'll provide you with in depth answers like this one, worth thousands of dollars in the real world if you were to have a consultant helping you.
One thought on “Diamond Member Q&A Series: Would It Be Wise To Agree To A Publishing Deal, Co-Publishing, Or An Admin?”
Good Notes… Thank you