What is a 360 Deal? Beware

360 deal

360 Deal

360 Deal in the music business 

Before we begin discussing 360 deals in the music business, it is important to understand what exactly are 360 deals? 

So guys, remember the contracts in the music industry that allows any record label to receive a percentage amount of any earnings from specific bands or an artist are referred to as 360 deals.

With changing times, there have been a lot of changes in the industry and therefore, these deals have become increasingly common now. 

Recorded music which once was considered very popular has recorded a dip in sales in the last few years, therefore, deals like 360 are much in demand. People love music but there are not many fads left in buying the recorded CDs the way it used to be earlier. 

There has been a significant rise in the music tours where the bands and artists are making money through merchandise and endorsements while they perform live. 

Live streamings, online radios are doing quite well. Due to the change in preferences of the audience and how the industries are working, 360 deals are here and are being chosen over the other deals. 

How does a 360 Record Deal work? 

It is also referred to as “multiple rights deals”. In this, record labels receive a percentage of revenues under different categories. It covers the following: 

– Digital sales 

– Concerts, tours, and live performance revenue 

– Sales made through Merchandise 

– Endorsement deals with the artists 

– Appearances and participation in the movies and television shows 

The idea of the big brands is that they will commit towards the promotion of the artist or the band and in exchange will take a bigger cut from the artist or the band they are representing. 

On the same hand, they will actively be involved in building more opportunities for the artist. They will be responsible solely for managing the activities around the artist’s career rather than focussing on selling the records. 

With 360 deals, they can acquire the copyrights of the artist recordings they also cover the traditional deal agreements where the net sales, foreign sales, reductions for packaging, are all deducted from the artist’s royalties. 

360 deals pros and cons 


● You may not have to cover up all your costs 

● With some of the contracts, you might end up where all the costs are covered by the label. 

● You get an opportunity to develop as an artist 

● Provides you with access to the best people in the industry through their networks. 


● Record labels will take a percentage of everything 

● They may lay claim to the copyright 

● You may also have to give control in terms of your creativity.

Issues with 360 deals 

These deals have been under a lot of controversy for a lot of reasons. 

They are looked upon as money grab deals and are more profitable for labels. As in most cases, it offers the label the financial interest in everything the artist does in the entertainment biz. This has spurred the labels and they wish to participate in all the possible revenue streams generated by an artist. 

Since most labels and affiliates are demanding association with 360 terms and conditions, therefore, artists are often left with no choice. 

Should you sign a record deal? 

These deals are coming up with plenty of pitfalls but with an option of 360 deal vs no deal, they may still be worth accepting if properly negotiated and only if major pitfalls we have discussed can be avoided. 

For the beginner or emerging artists, a major label deal can become a path to be successful as they may be able to utilize their already built network. 

How can you improve your 360 deal? 

Today there are numerous artists with 360 deals. If you want to sign one then it all also depend on your ability to negotiate the deal. For example- if an artist is already earning from other sources, then he may rope in a legal advisor to carve that stream out of the 360 deal. 

● Aggressively negotiating 

If the label is not providing support in terms of the income stream, then the legal advisor can discuss the exact advances for each stream. 

The ideal would be if the lawyer can also negotiate that as soon as the label releases each advance for each stream then the right of the label for the commission for that specific stream terminates the label’s right to commission that income stream terminates. 

● Avoid Cross-collateralization 

The lawyer should make sure that the label cannot cross-collateralized each stream. This means that the label should not be able to take money from one stream to pay for balances for another. 

● Percentage on Net income 

If the artist is offering a percentage of his earnings to the label then it should be based on net and not gross. 

360 deals often suck for artists. But they may be worth accepting only when they are discussed and negotiated properly. An artist should never enter into an exclusive recording contract, without taking the assistance of capable counsel. 

In a nutshell, 360 deals vary on a case to case basis. In some cases, they might be the perfect opportunity right at your door as it can take your career to the next level. In other cases, it might not. 

So we would advise you whenever you sign any contract, get roped in an experienced entertainment lawyer who can advise and make you understand the obligations. 

Understand everything before you sign any deal.


360 Deal

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