December 4, 2022

Music 101: What’s a 360 Deal?


I hear a lot of artists say that they’re not sure what a 360 deal is, and I see a few other artists that are jumping into these deals without the proper knowledge just to say they’re signed. So I’m gonna break this down for ya’ll in the best way possible.

Hit the jump to read more.

Major label profits have been on a steady decline since the early 2000s, thanks to digital domination, aka the internet. As more people began turning to the net to preview and purchase new music, the more money the labels began to lose. Soon the traditional record deals where the labels just made profit from album sales were out the window. Now that 360 deals are here, not only do they make money off of your physical and digital sales, but now they’re tapping into what I would like to consider, your personal, self-earned money.

Yep, this includes endorsements, film/TV, merchandising, and yes…show/tour money. As it is, the labels take a large chunk of your album sales, and now with the 360 deal, they’re taking a percentage of what you as an artist depend on for your livelihood.

And keep in mind that you still have to pay back what the label invested in your advanced preparation (marketing, promotion, etc). So does that really leave you with much?

That’s shitty as hell if you ask me. I know many of you artists reading this are still thinking to yourselves, “a deal is a deal”. If this doesn’t sound like rape to you, maybe you need to read it again. What was once something to call your own, the labels now are taking from that. How would it feel to know that every dime you make, the label will have their hands on? Seriously, think about that.

Now I will say this: several artists that have made a major name for themselves signed 360’s and went on to make a lot of money, but the majority of that came from booking shows. They’re also now the same one’s crying on social media about how fucked up their situation is. Ex: Rich Homie Quan. Just sayin. Look it up.

1 thought on “Music 101: What’s a 360 Deal?

  1. While the 360 Deal can seem like the worst thing, there ways to counter this with the labels.

    Let me break it down as simply as i can, if the label has an artist in a 360 deal and is taking money from album sales, touring, tv/film sync, and publishing; AND the label contributed advances for each revenue stream (which most likely they will); the label would only be allowed to recoup money from the revenue streams to cover the advance from the respective revenue stream (album royalties for the album advance, touring revenue for the tour advance, etc.). Doing it this way prevents the label from taking the money an artist earned on their tour to cover the advance paid to the artist for the creation of the album. This is called cross-collateralization.

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