Masters are heavily discussed in the music industry and they are a big deal.
In Music, master rights are the rights that give the holder full control over the master recordings and what is done to them.
There isn’t a standard amount of how much it costs to buy your masters back, it will differ in every situation. The record label would have to calculate how much it invested in your music; including studio time, branding, marketing, distribution, advances etc. and attach value to the masters that ensures that all money invested in your music is recouped by the label.
It becomes very difficult to buy back your masters after having been under a label for a long time because the expenses that the label incurs within that period may be quite huge to even pay back.
Factors that will determine the price of Master Rights
How much it costs you to buy your masters back will be greatly determined by the size of your catalogue.
A person that had released several albums under a label will have to pay a large amount to acquire the rights of the music back.
This is why it’s common to see most mainstream artists spend hundreds of millions to get their masters.
Record labels invest a lot of money into its artists to facilitate creation of records from which profits can be made to be split among the artist and the label,
The record label has to recoup its investment and make a profit.
The label will set the price according to its expenditure and profit motive in order to make the who deal worth while and profitable.
Such expenses will include
The record label will take into account how much expenditure went into the creation of the records, which includes money spent for recording sessions and production.
Record labels pay artists an advance that should be able to help them in their living and upkeep.
A lot of money is spent on advertising and marketing a brand to add value to it that can in turn make money.
Marketing dollars have to be recouped through sales of the music and they also have to be covered upon the sale of the masters.
What the label wants!
The label will have to valuate the masters, set a price and offer it to you.
Profit being a very important function of the whole process, will be determined by what the record label actually wants.
The profit motive will have a bearing on the total cost that a label attaches to the price of acquring back the rights to your masters.
Why owning masters is important
Owning your masters gives you the freedom and control over your records.
You’ll not have an intermediary standing in the way of your records, they’ll be yours to keep and do with as you please.
Record labels usually have strict policies over the use of the masters they own,
they’ll want to control and decide what happens to records and all dealings that involve them will have to be overseen by the label.
This can be cumbersome for an artist, therefore owning the rights to your music will give you what you need, to do with your music what you please.
One of the most aired out advantage of owning your masters is the fact that you have full control over your music which means you can monetize them in whichever way and make money.
If you buy and own the masters, your record label will not have a share in the revenue that your music generates after selling the masters to you.
Intellectual property ownership
Owning your masters gives you the rights to your own intellectual property which is a great thing.
Music is an asset, and assets can earn you income.
The catch with music is that you have to own the right to publish your music,
Buying back and owning your masters gives you this ownership.
The advantage of ownership is life time copyright value, which gives the creators the power to sell their masters down the line if they so wish.
Access to analytical data
Having the ownership to your music allows you monetize your music digitally and be able to track the analytics of your songs which can in turn make it easy for you to know your consumers and audience better.