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ARTIST

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A recording artist, vocalist, and/or instrumentalist (i.e., a skilled musical performer), who is under contract to record for a record company or who has previously released a commercial recording. See Cross-links: SUPERSTAR, MANAGER, MANAGER-A CLOSER LOOK, RECORD COMPANY, RECORDING SESSION, BUSINESS under "Employee Business Expense," CONTRACT-RECORDING CONTRACT clauses #21 and #22, NAME under "Pseudonym."
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Artist Income:
Recording artists receive income in various forms to include royalties, wages, and flat fee payments. Royalties received may include royalties from CD, music video DVD and CD-ROM sales, and also from the merchandising of their name and likeness. If they are also songwriters and own all or part of the publishing rights to their created works they would receive writer and song publishing royalties. They could receive royalties or use fees for television advertisement commercials in which they appear or perform. They could receive income form their endorsement of consumer goods. They may receive work for hire fees for special work projects or union scale wages for various reasons such as playing as a sideman in a recording session or working as a music contractor. Or, they could receive flat fees for radio and television appearances. See Cross-links: ARTIST, ROYALTY, TAX AVOIDANCE,
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Artist Royalty:
The compensation received by an artist from a record company for making commercial recordings such CDs, music video DVDs and CD-ROMs. The royalty received is pursuant to the royalty payment basis and rate stated in the recording contract. The basis and rate section usually states that the record company will pay royalties on 90% of the gross income received by the record company less a packaging deduction. This is known as the royalty basis. Some artists now negotiate 100% instead of 90%. In years past the 10% was kept by the record company to reimburse them for broken records. Even though broken records are no longer a problem, the 90% value still persists. The record company contends that since this practice is so ingrained in the system they would be at a disadvantage, from a marketing standpoint, if they paid on a 100% basis.

The royalty rate paid to the artist for CDs and singles is a negotiated rate (called "record rate" or "regular rate"), usually 6-15 percent of the gross receipts. Some superstars will negotiate even higher percentages and often with a guaranteed minimum cash payment.

Music video DVD royalties vary from 50-100 percent of the record rate. CD record clubs, mail order, and other budget sales receive 50-60 percent of record rate. Foreign and subsidiary royalties range from 50-100 percent of the regular rate. These are all negotiated rates and will vary depending on the negotiating power of the contractees.

Record returns, promotion copies, and other miscellaneous giveaways receive no royalty payment. See Cross-links: INCOME, AUDIT, ADVANCE, CONTRACT-RECORDING CONTRACT clauses #17, #31, #34, TAX LAW under "Royalty Income."
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Exclusive Artist:
An artist who is employed solely by a particular record company to perform certain stated activities, e.g., recording, live performances, etc.. The record company signs the artist exclusively to protect its interests in the artist and his talents. See Cross-links: EXCLUSIVE SONGWRITER, RIGHT
under "Exclusive Rights," CONTRACT-RECORDING CONTRACT clause #21.

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