Musicians now have easy access to an environment that encourages the growth of online communities, and the interaction between artists and music consumers. For emerging and unsigned artists, promotion is therefore now very much part-and-parcel of the musician’s role.
With this in mind, co-promotion deals, whereby artists assist in the promotion of their shows, are, for some, the most effective and viable way of gigging, so long as they involve appropriate remuneration, and don’t resemble pay-to-play deals.
The MU’s stance in relation to what constitutes an unfair or bad co-promotion deal is:
An arrangement whereby artists agree to play a part in the promotion or financing of a gig, but aren’t appropriately or proportionately rewarded for their efforts.
There’s no reason why all co-promotion deals should be the same, as there are so many variables, including: venue capacity, location, other acts on the bill, and ticket price etc. It is therefore most effective to treat each gig as an individual negotiation. Many artists reach a level whereby they can command their desired fee and conditions without compromise, sometimes through an agent, but most gigging musicians have to negotiate on each and every show.
Most co-promotion deals require artists to sell tickets for their show. To avoid unfair deals, consider the following:
- Payment – ensure that you receive a fair cut of the price of each ticket, starting with the first one sold.
- As well as the high-profile social media platforms, there are several other sites that can assist musicians. See ArtistTicket, MusicGlue and TicketSense for sales of tickets, music and merchandise, and for marketing opportunities.
- Guest list – In addition to using guest lists for friends and family, they can also be used to attract your fanbase. Look into the possibility of offering a cheap guest list to your fans, and use it in addition to selling tickets. Don’t rely on guest lists too heavily, as they don’t require punters to commit financially to the gig in advance, and therefore don’t always encourage the best turn-out.
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