What To Do With Your Music: Consignment, Licensing, and Sponsorship | Replogle Law Office

Posted: August 14, 2014 by Kimberly Weiss in & Tips, Promo, Support
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RepAvatrNow that you have your music, what do you want to do with it? Probably sell it, perform it live, and of course, make a little bit of money. There are many ways you can accomplish these goals. These include selling your music in a store or online, licensing your music, and using a sponsor. When you decide to sell, license, or use a sponsor, the arrangement should be represented by a written agreement to protect you and your music. Here are some things to consider with each type of agreement:

Consignment Contracts:
If you want someone to sell your music for you, you will need a consignment contract. A consignment contract is an agreement between you and the person selling it, usually a store. It covers how your music will be stored, sold, and used by the store. Some key points to include in your contract include:

  •  What percentage of sales do you get?
  •  How are sales tracked? (make sure you get records of this!)
  •  When do you get paid?
  •  Who’s responsible for promo and marketing? Hint: it’s YOU, although you may be able to negotiate a special “kick-off” event for a new album.
  •  How long will they keep your music on hand? This can be anywhere from a few months to perpetual.
  •  Where will the album be placed? Up front and prominent or hidden in the back somewhere?

Licensing Agreements:
Another way you can make money is through licensing agreements. With a licensing agreement, you are giving someone permission to use your music for a particular purpose. You know all those songs you hear in commercials and movies? Those have been licensed. Here are some key points for your licensing agreement:

  •  What are you licensing it for? TV, movies, etc.?
  •  What are you licensing? Be specific with song names.
  •  What’s the term of the license? This can be a few months to perpetual, but you probably don’t want to lock yourself into a license that lasts forever.
  •  What’s the territory of the license? U.S., worldwide, etc.?
  •  How much money are you getting for the license, and when do you get paid?
  •  What can they do with your music? Can they change it?
  •  Is the license exclusive or non-exclusive? Can you enter into more than one license for a particular song?

Sponsorship Agreements:
Getting a sponsor means you can make and play music while someone else foots the bill. Sounds great, right? Just remember, when someone is giving you money, they are expecting something in return, and a lot of times that comes down to control. Here are some key points to keep in mind with a sponsorship agreement:

  •  What, specifically, is the sponsor doing for you?
  •  If they’re sponsoring a show, what are the details of the show?
  •  What does the sponsor want in return? Not only will they want control over you, your music, and the show, they will also want their name and logo plastered all over your merchandise.
  •  What type of control does the sponsor have? Where you play? How often you play? How often you record? What about your personal life?
  •  Is it exclusive or non-exclusive? Can they sponsor more than one musician/band, and can you accept more than one sponsor?

Each of these agreements can be very complex. If you are not familiar with what something means, make sure you speak with an attorney who can explain it to you. Negotiating these key points can help you make some money while doing what you love, but be careful that you don’t sign something that can have a negative impact on your career.

MelissaReplogleMelissa Replogle, Esq.
Replogle Law Office, LLC
28 E. Rahn Rd., Suite 101
Kettering, OH 45429
p. 937.369.0177
f.  937.999.3924


Replogle-Law-Logo6The information provided in this blog post is general information about Replogle Law Office, LLC. This blog post, including other related pages, is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The use of this or other related websites does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you post a comment or send an email through this blog post, it will not be treated as creating an attorney-client relationship and it will not be treated as privileged and confidential unless you are accepted as a client by this firm. The information provided is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. You should not act upon such information without first contacting an attorney about your specific legal issue.

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