360 deals otherwise known as “multiple rights deals” are contracts that give record labels the right to make a percentage off of all of an artist’s activities instead of just record sales. This practice has become a common theme for major record labels. This gives record labels the right to get a percentage off of an artists’…

– shows/concert revenue
– merchandise sales
– endorsement deals
– song publishing
– ringtones

– and any other venture or activity that artists engage in to bring in revenue

360 deal = Career suicide
The record labels who engage in this practice say that they will be committed to promoting artists’ for a longer period of time and continuously develop new opportunies for them to bring in revenue. The record label now oversee the careers of musicians and take part in every aspect of it instead of just the record sale aspect. It sounds good on paper (and that’s debatable), but the problem is the record labels are using this strategy to get money that is now lost on failed record sales. Poor record sales has destroyed the music industry and now record labels are doing whatever is necessary to bring in revenue; enter the 360 deal.

 

Money that came from shows, merchandise sales, endorsement deals, song publishing, and ringtones were solely for the artists to keep. Record labels got the majority of their money from record sales. Now that record labels are experiencing poor record sales and higher overhead, they’re putting their hand in musicians’ pockets out of desperation and it’s pathetic. It’s bad enough that musicians put their blood, sweat, and tears into their music career and now record labels want to come with this kind of nonsense which will basically squeeze the life out of artists.

 

Long story short, that is the 360 deal; these articles and editorials go into more depth about 360 deals and the controversy behind them…

TechCrunch.com article about 360 dealshttp://techcrunch.com/2008/11/08/360-music-deals-become-mandatory-as-labels-prepare-for-free-music/

“360 Deals and ‘Dumb’ Artists” by Cedric Muhammad via Allhiphop.comhttp://allhiphop.com/stories/editorial/archive/2009/12/08/22049697.aspx

If you’re an artist who values freedom and independence and wants a successful independent music career, then you don’t want to feel the shackles of a 360 deal. If your fanbase and following is strong enough, then a 360 deal isn’t really needed because most of the profit you make from your music-based ventures and activities will be yours to keep.