2) PAY ON TIME! – No more artificial royalty accounting periods. Returns and co-ops are a thing of the past. Pay out and account on one way no return sales that you have been paid in the same month you get them.
The only reason to hold on to the money is to make bank interest on it. If this is what you are going to do, see #1, BE TRANSPARENT and tell artists you are doing this. 3) NO MORE SUGARCOATING AND HIDING REALITY – Seriously. Stop promising things you know you can’t deliver. Not everyone is going to be a star. Be honest, tell the truth,. Let the musician and artist know the realities of the market so they can have a better understand of what needs to be done to succeed or why things are not going the way they want them to.
4) ACKNOWLEDGE YOU WORK FOR THE ARTIST, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND – Without the artist none of us will have jobs. They are the ones with the talent. They create culture and write songs that have an impact on the world. They are allowing us to serve them, not the other way around. This philosophy and culture must permeate everything you do. Turn this industry from one that “exploits” the artist to one that serves the artist.
5) ONLY OFFER SERVICES YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO – No more asking for rights or income from things you can’t contribute towards. If you are a label and want more money from other areas (i.e. merchandise, songwriter income, gig income etc) you actually have to provide a service that does something to earn that right. There are others out there that are specialists in these areas, can you do what they can?
6) UNDERSTAND THE ARTIST NOW HAS CHOICE – Unlike the old days, artists can now succeed without you. Labels have gone from a “must have” to a “might need”. Be clear in what you have to offer and create a fair and equitable deal in exchange for the services you are offering.