Artists features are a huge part of the music business because collaboration is one of the most powerful marketing concepts in music.
One question that often arises when it comes to features is; “Do artists get paid for featuring?”
It’s common for artists to get paid for features and have a percentage of royalties from the sound recording side of the copyright. Some artists depending on their status may require an artist to pay for them to feature on a record while others may simply feature on the record without asking for an upfront fee but simply a share of the revenue that the song generates.
The Upfront fee
Most recording artists do charge a feature price for any one that wants to feature them on a song.
Artists will set this price to be able to provide their services, in most cases if an artist is signed to a label 9 times out of 10, you will have to pay them to get them on your song because the label will have a say in the matter.
Artists signed to labels will have business managers that will negotiate on their behalf to make sure that their artist gets paid for featuring on your record.
In situations where an artist is not signed to a label, paying upfront may be a negotiation between you and them.
Some may want to charge you to feature on your record while others may do the feature and only ask that they get their share of revenue once the record starts to generate revenue.
In the music business world, relationships are a very vital part of growth as an artist. Good relationships in the industry can make it easy for you to get features without paying upfront fees to the artists but only giving a share of royalties from the revenue that the song generates.
This is a better deal because you now only have to do a good job of monetizing the record.
Rather than paying upfront and having to depend on the record doing well for you to recoup money that was paid to your featured artist.
Royalties will also definitely come into play because them featuring on your record makes them part of the song writers of the song.
The copyright of the lyrics will still be theirs and they’ll often negotiate with you about how much of a percentage of the royalties they are comfortable with.
This is not really unnatural because it’s how the music industry works… so don’t get thrown off when artist asks for what’s rightfully theirs with regard to upfront fees and/or royalties.
Therefore all forms of licensing that generates income will have to be share among the people that had a hand in the creation of the song like the featured artists.
Importance of features
Lets now get into the importance of features:
Features are important because they can help you appeal to the audience of the featured artist or the person that featured you.
This can help you reach new potential fans that can add on to your already existing fan-base.
Record labels most of the time will have features as part of their plan because they know how effective it can be in terms of audience building.
So, if you’re an independent artist, you can as well implement features into your career and see how best they can help push your career forward.
Another benefit that comes with features is that they can help you build and establish your brand more….. if you’ve made a great a song as a result of a feature, people will appreciate the content and that will give you more credibility as an artist.
Therefore working with artists that are good at they do, should be part of your plan because a feature should help your career.
You need good artists that are professional so they can help your journey.
Working with them can help change the way you approach music and this can in turn translate into better artistry.
Good artistry will therefore translate into great music which will make your brand better and more appealing to your audience.
Connections and Relationships
Features can also help you lay down some good roots with artists in the sense that you could build good working relationships that can ensure that you both keep working and become more than mere workmates but friends.
Connections mean a lot in an industry like music because who you know can basically open up new doors for you to meet new people that can help your career elevate.
Therefore, as an artist it is key not only to look at features as a way to get content out, also look at it as a way to build relationships with the artist and their associates.
Make a good enough impression to make it easier for them to want to be your associate.
Makes for great marketing
Collaborations of any form are usually put in place to ensure that great music is made and that the music becomes a good marketing tool itself…. before the actual marketing outside of the music can even begin.
Good features can give you leverage to promote and market your content in a unique way… You can appeal to your audience differently whilst tapping into the fanbase of your feature.
This makes for good marketing that can help you sell the record easily without having to jump through many hoops.
Some collaborative features could also be the start of a mainstream career especially if you feature a well know figure in the music industry….
this is always a possibility so make sure you do your best to get good features that can help you achieve more success.
Do rappers always pay for features?
Depending on the relationship the rapper has with the artist they wish to feature (collaborator) , they may or may not pay an upfront fee. The rapper will in most cases just split the revenue that the song generates with their collaborator.