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“I have been offered a digital release contract. What can I do to increase exposure of my song?”

An RP visitor has been lucky enough to be offered a contract. But should he release the acapella (vocals only) version too, or will it stir up trouble?

A question from a Audio Masterclass visitor...

“I have recorded a dance track that has been remixed by several DJs and the track seems to be getting played in clubs. I have been offered a digital release contract. I was thinking of releasing the acapella along with the remixes to increase the exposure of the song should other DJs want to remix and play it in their clubs. Is this inviting trouble further down the track if the song starts to do well?”

So, this person has created a track that exists in its original version, plus several remixed versions. I’m presuming that the contract covers all of the versions and would extend to cover another version – the acapella (or a capella) – too.

This is interesting because releasing a vocals-only version would allow other people to easily remix the track.

Of course, they would have to get a licence from you (or whoever you have licensed the track to) to release it. So in theory you should get more money, and more exposure.

In practice however it is very likely that if people like your vocals, they will remix them and use them without paying you. This is a harsh reality of the low-level music industry.

So in this sense, releasing an acappella version is a risk.

However, even if you don’t get the money, you will get the exposure. The best thing that could happen is that a remixed version of your track becomes popular. In this case, even though perhaps the producer of the remix didn’t get your permission originally, they will have to now to take the track to the next stage, which would be to release it on a bigger label.

When you get released on a bigger label there will be more money for you, for the remixer and for whoever you licensed the track to in the first place (I hope your contract covers sublicensing or the selling-on of the licence).

So yes it is a risk, but at worst you are only going to lose money you wouldn’t have got anyway. And at best you could win large with a major label release.

Of course, this is just my opinion and don’t even think of relying on it legally. Does anyone else have any advice?

By David Mellor Thursday November 30, 2006