Music Biz Resources
+ Episode Notes

In our new episode, Chris talks with entertainment attorney Linda Edell Howard, who offers her knowledge and concrete guidance to YOU. As creatives, the technical side of the industry often falls to the wayside, so we wanted to help highlight the info that everyone needs to know, but nobody wants to tell you about! Scroll for our list of resources and show notes we've compiled for you to refer back to as needed after listening to the episode. Enjoy!

In Part 2 of our Music Biz Special, we'll talk with Kris Ahrend, the CEO of the new MLC, to explore a pertinent revenue stream that you need to be signed up with NOW. Stay tuned! Coming 10/7/21.

Listen to the full episodes here.

Music Biz Special Part 1:
Linda Edell Howard, Entertainment Attorney

"Good contracts keep good friends" - Linda Edell Howard


In this episode, you'll learn:

  • What 360 deals are and why to avoid them

  • How to advocate for yourself in this industry and why it’s important

  • Things to look for and watch out for in your first publishing deal

  • What a typical first deal looks like and how to work in benefits for you besides just getting an advance (which is your OWN money)

  • What does “recoupable” mean (what gets charged back to your account?)

  • Being aware of your delivery requirement in a deal 

  • Benefits and value in a publishing deal

  • Why it’s important to find a song champion at your publishing company

  • What artist contracts look like today

  • How everything is negotiable if you’re prepared to walk away

  • Common splits between artists and record labels

  • How to reach out to your local Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts, non-profit organizations around the country that provide entertainment lawyer services pro bono

  • Why it’s important to make agreements among you and your collaborators

  • + MORE

Show Notes / Terminology:

  • You need a team - and the company itself is not your family. The people there are.

  • As a new songwriter, 3 things to be aware of in your first publishing deal:

    1. Publishers often ask for a Schedule A - but you don't have to hand over everything you’ve ever written. Make sure that they only pick songs they’re absolutely in love with and think they can do something with.

    2. In a typical first deal, you're giving away 100% of publishing, so what other commitments can you work into your deal? Maybe negotiate co-publishing for the passage of time, or changing what's recoupable (charged back to your account), etc. Whatever it may be, make sure you're making your deal better as you succeed.

    3. Be aware of your delivery requirements / minimum delivery - what do you have to do to get paid the amount they’ve agreed to pay you? How many songs a year you have to write is not as simple as it sounds - two-way cowrites only count for 50% of a song, etc. And, publishers can turn down a song and not accept it too.

  • What is "record and release"? Agreeing to having a number of 100% songs recorded and commercially released.

  • What is “suspension”? Getting stuck in a contract UNTIL your delivery requirements are met, even after your term is up and your advance runs out.

  • Common splits between artist and record labels now on the sound recording / master - usually 35-50% share of revenue, but depends on what stream of revenue.

  • What is the difference between personal managers and agents? Managers get a cut of everything that their client earns, no matter if they worked on it or not. Agents go out and get you jobs, gigs, deals, etc - and get paid on what they procure.

  • What does it mean to work on something “on spec”? In the sense of collaborating, investing in each other as partners and agreeing that you'll make money when the other partner makes money - NOT paying anything up front

"Everything is negotiable if you're prepared to walk away" - Linda Edell Howard