"Recording Contract Template"

What Is a Recording Contract?

A Recording Contract is an agreement between the record label and the artist regarding the production and release of the artist's music. It binds both parties to create and sell music in a manner defined in writing. With the help of this agreement, the record label asserts its ownership of the product of the recording sessions and their licensing rights for the promotion of the album. The agreement details the payment of a fixed percentage of royalties to artists and their producers.

Alternate Name:

  • Recording Agreement.

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How Does a Recording Contract Work?

A properly written Recording Contract establishes the terms of the recording and distribution process. Both parties get contractual assurances regarding the performance and conduct of the artists (singers, songwriters, band members) at the time of recording and releasing the album. The artist will also obtain autonomy in specific aspects of the creative process, while the record company holds onto the music copyright and builds its reputation in the music business.

The Recording Contract terms and conditions are as followings:

  1. Names and contact information of the record label and artist.
  2. Production information - the address of the studio and the dates of the recording sessions. Decide who has control over song selections on the recording and who will choose the album title.
  3. Recording information. State the number of tracks, the full length of the album, the date of its release, and possible re-recording date.
  4. Exclusivity clause. The artist must work with one recording company only and cannot enter into a similar agreement with another label as long as the contract is valid.
  5. Payment information - include recording and promotional costs.
  6. Breakdown of royalties. State what percentage of the profits will go to the label, artist, and producers.
  7. Promotional appearances. Discuss the number of appearances to promote the album and the appearance fees.
  8. Termination clause. Usually, the Music Recording Contract is terminated by mutual consent or in the event of non-performance of either party.
  9. Signatures of the parties.

What Does an "All-In" Recording Contract Mean?

An "all-in" clause in the recording business means that in addition to the artist's royalty, the label will pay a royalty to the producer hired by the artist. Traditionally, royalties are paid on the basis of a royalty rate multiplied by the manufacturer's suggested retail price. The record royalty of the artist is around 15% and 16% of the sales price of the audio product. When it comes to the producer's royalty, usually it is between 3% and 5% of the suggested retail price.

How Long Is a Music Recording Contract?

A standard Recording Contract is signed for one year. This allows the artist to record and release the first album. After that, the record label may renew the agreement if they like the work of the artist and want a second album to be produced. If you limit the duration of your contract to one year, you keep your options open. It is not safe for artists to sign five- and ten-year contracts - it may destroy their financial futures and creative lives. The record label should not lock the artist into a lengthy contract without an escape. Moreover, a one-year contract would be the best option for the label - this time is enough to learn more about the artist and see if further collaboration is a good idea.


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Recording Contract
This ​ R ecording Contract (hereinafter referred to as the “Contract”) is entered into as of
_________________ by and between ____________________, with a mailing address of
________________________________________________________________________
(hereinafter referred to as the “Company”) and ____________________, with a mailing
address of _______________________________________________________________
(hereinafter referred to as the “Artist”), collectively referred to as the “Parties,” both of
whom agree to be bound by this Contract.
THE PARTIES AGREE AS FOLLOWS:
1. Term​ . The effectiveness of this Contract shall commence with its execution by all
parties, and will continue for a period of _________________.
2. Production. ​ T he Company agrees to produce one master recording consisting of songs
written and performed by the Artist (hereinafter referred to as the “Songs”). The resulting
recording (hereinafter referred to as the “Recording”) shall include music of not less than
_________________ in duration of playing, and shall be of a quality which is equal to
master recordings normally produced for commercial sale and distribution.
3. Contribution by Artist. ​ T he Artist agrees to:
● Fully cooperate with the Company, in good faith, in the production of the
Recording;
● Contribute to such production the music and lyrics embodied in the Songs;
● Arrange, direct and perform the Songs in such a manner as to facilitate the
production of the Recording;
● Otherwise strictly observe the remaining duties and obligations of this Contract.
4. Costs​ . All costs incurred in the production of the Recording, including the prepayment
of all travel, hotel and meal costs incurred by Artist in attending the recording sessions
described in this Contract will be the responsibility of the Company. The Company's
production, promotion, manufacturing and all other bonafide expenses relating to the
Artist are deemed recoupable from gross income.
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Recording Contract
This ​ R ecording Contract (hereinafter referred to as the “Contract”) is entered into as of
_________________ by and between ____________________, with a mailing address of
________________________________________________________________________
(hereinafter referred to as the “Company”) and ____________________, with a mailing
address of _______________________________________________________________
(hereinafter referred to as the “Artist”), collectively referred to as the “Parties,” both of
whom agree to be bound by this Contract.
THE PARTIES AGREE AS FOLLOWS:
1. Term​ . The effectiveness of this Contract shall commence with its execution by all
parties, and will continue for a period of _________________.
2. Production. ​ T he Company agrees to produce one master recording consisting of songs
written and performed by the Artist (hereinafter referred to as the “Songs”). The resulting
recording (hereinafter referred to as the “Recording”) shall include music of not less than
_________________ in duration of playing, and shall be of a quality which is equal to
master recordings normally produced for commercial sale and distribution.
3. Contribution by Artist. ​ T he Artist agrees to:
● Fully cooperate with the Company, in good faith, in the production of the
Recording;
● Contribute to such production the music and lyrics embodied in the Songs;
● Arrange, direct and perform the Songs in such a manner as to facilitate the
production of the Recording;
● Otherwise strictly observe the remaining duties and obligations of this Contract.
4. Costs​ . All costs incurred in the production of the Recording, including the prepayment
of all travel, hotel and meal costs incurred by Artist in attending the recording sessions
described in this Contract will be the responsibility of the Company. The Company's
production, promotion, manufacturing and all other bonafide expenses relating to the
Artist are deemed recoupable from gross income.
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5. Dates and Location of Recording Sessions. The recording sessions necessary to
produce the Recording shall occur at the following locations:
The recording sessions necessary to produce the Recording will begin on
_________________ and end on _________________.
6. Artistic Control. The Company and the Artist shall be jointly responsible for all
decisions regarding the artistic content of the Recording.
7. Title. The title of the Recording shall be chosen by agreement between the Company
and the Artist.
8. Completion and Release. The Recording will be completed and prepared for release
and distribution on or before _________________.
The Company and the Artist acknowledge that time is of the essence in the completion of
the Recording, and each agree to exercise all reasonable means to achieve such
completion.
9. Assignment of Exclusive Rights by Artist. ​ U pon the timely occurrence and
performance of all material events and obligations required to produce the Recording, the
Artist shall assign to the Company all of their rights, title, and interest in and to the
following property, for distribution and commercial exploitation in _________________:
Country
a. The Songs,
b. Artist's performance of the Songs contained in the Recording,
c. The title of the Recording.
10. License for Use of Name and Image. ​ U pon the timely occurrence and performance
of all material events and obligations required to produce the Recording, the Artist shall
grant to the Company the exclusive license to use the name _______________________,
and the Artist's photographic image, in the promotion and distribution of the Recording.
11. Copyright. ​ T he Company shall proceed to obtain and secure a copyright for each of
the said Songs. Each such copyright shall be the sole property of the Company.
12. Distribution. Upon the completion of the Recording and continuing for the term of
this Contract, the Company will diligently use its best efforts to secure distribution of the
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Recording throughout the world, through one or more major distribution companies
(including film companies, record companies, or any other company). Any such contract
entered into between the Company and any such record distribution company shall be
subject to the terms of this Contract.
13. Royalties. ​ I n accordance with the rights granted by the Artist to the Company herein,
the Company intends to contract with a record distribution company for distribution of
the Recording. The Company will be entitled to receive royalties or licensing fees (herein
collectively referred to as the "Royalties") as a result of such a contract.
The Royalties shall include any compensation received by the Company, or promised to
the Company, which directly or indirectly results from the use, exploitation or existence
of the Recording, or any reproduction applied to satisfy costs incurred and paid by the
Company. In the event that the Royalties are insufficient to complete such
reimbursement, the Artist shall not be liable for such costs.
The remainder of such Royalties, if any, shall be allocated and distributed between the
Company and the Artist, in the following proportion:
a. Percent to the Company - __________%
b. Percent to the Artist - __________%
Royalties due to the Artist hereunder shall be delivered by the Company to the Artist
within __________ working days from the Company's receipt thereof.
14. Non-Circumvention. The Artist shall not detrimentally interfere with the efforts of
the Company to distribute the Recording through one or more distribution companies or
enter into any contract inconsistent with the rights of distribution assigned to the
Company hereunder. The Artist shall not contact any such potential distribution company
except through the offices of the Company.
15. Additional Personal Services. ​ F or the term of this Contract, the Artist agrees to
appear at no less than __________ performances to promote the distribution of the
Recording. Company shall schedule and arrange such performances, but the Artist shall
have the right of prior approval of the location, date and time of each performance.
The total number of performances during the term of this Contract shall not be above
__________. The Company shall be responsible for travel, hotel, and meal costs incurred
by the Artist in attending each such performance, the Artist shall be paid __________ of
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the net revenues received by the Company for such performances. Such compensation
shall be received by the Artist within _______________________ from the Company's
receipt thereof.
16. Option to Purchase. ​ A t any time during the term of this Contract or thereafter, at the
Artist's option, the Artist may purchase all rights assigned and/or granted to the Company
hereunder or resulting to the Company herefrom (including rights of copyright to any and
all of the Songs) for the total sum of:
a. $__________, plus;
b. Any receipted costs expended by the Company hereunder, but reimbursed, as of
the date of exercise of such option to purchase, plus;
c. __________% of the gross revenues generated thereafter from the Recording.
Exercise of the option shall be accomplished by the delivery of such amount, in cash or
certified funds, to the Company or its express designee.
In the event of such exercise, the Company shall promptly execute all documents
reasonably necessary to effectuate such transaction. If and upon the exercise of such
option, the obligations undertaken by the parties herein shall be exercised.
17. Assignment by Company. Prior to completion of the Recording, the rights and
obligations of the Company existing hereunder are personal and unique, and shall not be
assigned without the prior written consent of the Artist. Subsequent to the completion of
the Recording, the Company may assign its rights and obligations existing hereunder
without the consent of the Artist.
18. Assignment by Artist. ​ T he rights and obligations of the Artist existing hereunder are
personal and unique, and shall not be assigned without prior written consent of the
Company.
19. Governing Law. ​ T he Parties agree that this Contract shall be governed by the laws of
_____________________.
State
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The Parties agree to the terms and conditions set forth above as demonstrated by their
signatures as follows:
COMPANY
ARTIST
Name: _____________________
Name: _____________________
Signed: ____________________
Signed: ____________________
Date: ______________________
Date: ______________________
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