The back end distribution model is simple: we distribute your music and take a percentage of your money each and every time it sells. Some of us even charge an upfront fee on top of taking a percentage of your money each time your music sells.
As a “back end” model we work on the principle that all musicians are going to fail, or at best, only sell a little. If you sell too much, it would not make financial sense to use us. And if by some chance you do happen to do well, we get to rake in a ton of money off of your hard work and talent. We believe this is how the music industry has always worked and should continue to work.
We understand we say we are your “partner,” but that’s not really what we are; you invest all the money and time. Besides, we believe you will achieve mediocrity at best. If we’re wrong, and you actually succeed, it just proves our business model is wrong. But no big deal, we get to rake it in off your hard work. For us it’s a perfect model – you work, succeed and then pay us.
Some might call that an exploitive relationship, we call it love.
Please try not to think about that as you write and record songs, build a website, promote yourself through FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace and your blog, tour like crazy, hire a manager or pay for PR or an ad campaign, hand out demos, make CDs and dropcards, print up posters or apparel, hang up fliers, drum up word-of-mouth, sleep on the floor of your van as you tour around the country, max out your credit cards, and eat off the Taco Bell Value Menu.
We know that when you succeed our model doesn’t make sense for you.
We also know we make it look like our back end percentage gives us an incentive to help you earn a lot, but that doesn’t really work—how can we possibly promote everyone? We certainly can’t treat everyone equally, but who knows, maybe we’re wrong and you’ll succeed from your own hard work and get to have more of your money go into our bank account. Don’t get mad at us, it’s your own damn fault for writing great songs and investing and believing in yourself. Taking your money and having artists give their money to others is the way the music industry has operated for decades, why change it? What’s most important is that we distract you with promises we can’t keep and math formulas that show you how to save money by not being successful.
I suppose you could just pay a flat, upfront fee – but that just makes too much sense. Why serve artists when you can simply exploit them?
We just see nothing wrong with: “Gimmie a piece of your soul, and then pay us and pay us and pay us and pay us and pay us and pay us and pay us and pay us…”?
Since when did respecting an artist matter?
The Back End Distribution Model