It is only natural to be curious and it is not a bad thing, I can assure you.
You will find it quiet useful to get all the details beforehand or to at least have an idea of what to typically expect,
in order to make a better judgement as to how you can handle issues that concern studio time.
So, do record labels pay for studio time?
Record labels usually give the artist an advance meant to cover the cost of studio time and any production work done by the artist. These costs are recouped by the record label by taking a percentage of the sales of the artist’s music.
Lets take a deep dive and actually expound on this further.
You may be wondering,
WHAT IS STUDIO TIME?
Studio time AKA Studio session time is the amount of time that an artist will spend in the studio in the process of recording their song.
This time is segmented into hours,
and the studio will charge a certain dollar amount per hour for offering music studio services such as recording and production.
Record labels and artists have a contract-based relationship;
The artist is treated as an asset that can generate revenue for the label,
therefore they’ll stipulate the costs and revenue splits that they propose.
For some record labels, it will be easier to cover the costs of production,
Which means that they can easily pay for any production work (studio time, beat purchases, feature payments) and later recover these costs when the music starts to generate income.
In most cases the artist will have to come up with a budget of the required funds needed to cover the cost of production.
In other situations, a record label will agree on revenue split percentage and will give the artist an advance.
Some record labels will stipulate that the artist use the advance to pay for their recording and production sessions.
When the music starts to generate income, the artist and the label can then agree and split profits according to the percentages agreed upon.
It is a good idea to have discussions about costs and revenues beforehand, that’s why its always a good idea to take some time to read and understand the contract proposal by your label,
This will help you make better decisions and figure out parts of the contract that require negotiations.
Well established record labels will have artist’s budgets that the artist has to use when working on their projects, this acts as a guideline for the artist.
In such situations, it is less trouble for the artist because they can easily concentrate on the music while the record label takes care of everything else.
Therefore if you’re planning on signing to a label, I would advise that you have a contract that enables the record label to give you money to cover the cost of production.
That way you won’t have to handle all the technical bits that may get in the way of your recording process. The label will handle all financial related issues while you work on your music.
You have to be careful that the label doesn’t take advantage of this and try to exploit you by requesting or proposing an unfair royalty split agreement.
Negotiate to get the best deal you can get.
In House Studios
In some cases the record label will have its own operating base with regards to recording studios, producers, instrument players and musicians.
with these situations it become less about studio time and more about the output of work at the end of it all.
The artist can just focus on working on the music knowing that everything is in-house and there are no direct expenses to be paid for.
The record label may get an even bigger royalty split from the income of the artists music because their in house studio will form part of the package that the label would offer the artist.
In house studios provide a generally good working environment because the artists and the producers will easily work together.
An in house studio will also offer quality relations between artists and producers, without making everything about money.
In any case that an artist might want to outsource anybody else, they can usually table this up with the label to figure out a budget.
Sometimes the artists can handle any payments for outsourcing,
while some other situations may be favorable if the artist has a relationship with the person that they might want to outsource because a publishing split can often be the only catch that the artist would have to deal with.
Most of the time record labels will cover the cost of recording and overall music production for the artist.
These are usually referred to as All In deals.
In All In deals the record label will provide the artist with money to basically cover any production costs.
Labels will sometimes have their own studios where the artist will not be required to pay anything,
the artist in this case covers the costs of production through the royalty and revenue split agreement that they get into with the label.
In other situations the record label may stipulate that the artist would get an advance, and part of that advance would be money to cover any production costs.
The artist would have to come up with a budget that would get the ball rolling on any work.
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How Much Advance do Record Labels Pay? – Gemtracks