What to include in a music producer agreement.

Learn what to include in a music producer contract to create some rocking tunes with your producer.

Congratulations! Your artistic endeavors have paid off, and you’re ready to start recording your debut album. As is common practice, you decide to hire a producer to help you. But what kind of contract should you have?

Here are tips for both artists and producers on what to include in a music producer agreement.

Determine producer’s compensation.

Decide how much you’ll pay your producer. You can pay them an hourly rate or a fixed sum for each song. Paying per song is more cost-effective since just one song can burn through your budget at an hourly rate.

Also, it's helpful to decide on how many points to give the producer. Points are a music industry term for the percentage of net record sales the producer receives as royalties. The industry standard is 2.5 points or 2.5%. Finally, determine any other revenue the producer might get, such as SoundExchange payments.

The producer agreement must state who owns the master recordings. In almost all cases, the artist should also be the owner to make full commercial use of their songs.

Decide on composition split.

Will the producer receive co-writer credit? Agree on your specific roles when you write your contract. If the producer is a co-writer, include a clause transferring all administrative rights to yourself so that you won’t have to get their permission every time you use your songs commercially.

Agree on producer credit.

Producers depend on getting proper credit for their professional reputation. Determine how you’ll credit the producer on your release and what language you will use.

Sign your producer agreement digitally.

Digital signatures can help you sign producer agreements and more without a hassle. They’re legally binding, and you can track the process in case the hectic music world causes delays. Adobe Sign lets you share and sign documents, request and track signatures, and more.

Discover what else Sign can do to help get your music career and business started.