In the early 2000's record companies began to lose money because of illegal downloads over the internet. It got to the point where companies had to figure out a method to increase their bottom line (make more money) off of their investments. (unknown talents) The easy answer is to cut cost; that is when music videos got low budget marketing and promotion budgets were slashed in half. Whole departments such as artist development were terminated from most major labels. A&R's stopped looking for unknowns and started targeting artist whom have generated a compelling buzz independent.

When even this failed a very smart executive over at Warner Brothers created the worlds worst record deal THE 360!. The 360 deal has its perks but for an artist who does a lot of outside ventures this deal is death!

The basic meaning of it means that the record company can take a percentage of your net or gross (contractually negotiated) in any area where YOU the artist is generating money. Example: You sign a 360 deal with Def Jam and your album flops after you got about 200,000 in advance. The company has spent close to a million on your project to cover producers trademarks recording fees promotion marketing and visual images (music videos) They were even so kind as to send you on a tour to help boost your album sales but some how you have failed to generate the sales to make a prophet in some cases not even break even.

However in your personal travels or through the work of your manager you land a gig in an up coming movie where they are going to pay you a few stacks. Because you are signed to a 360 deal this entitles Def Jam to a percentage of your movie.

Anything directly linked to you as a recording artist on Def Jam, anything you gained that is attributed to your connection with the record company gives them their cut on any venture you are apart of as long as you generate revenue!

with 360 they are entitled to a % of your royalties your publishing your clothing line everything it makes artist branding difficult and creates issues when you are no longer that no name rapper that the big company took a chance on

how can a 360 deal benefit you? It will benefit you to get a good lawyer to negotiate the precentages the label will get and have the lawyer find areas where the label is willing to let you live! You may be able to have your lawyers tell the labels they can only get a percentage of anything that you do musically such as if you start your own record company or sign any other artist. You may say they can have a % of a clothing line or perfume line but cannot take a % of any deal that you make with a outside company or if you did movies. Most importantly protect your show money! In Most 360 deals the labels even get a precent of live stage performances where most artist are paid in cash directly from the promoters!

If you have an attorney help you fight for these small things that can put more money in your pocket at the end where a 360 deal may benefit you.

If you are signed to a major and they have the capital to actually promote you and market you and take your music to a level you cannot do on your own however you have multiple companies bidding for you that gives you more leverage. That is why being famous before signing a deal is so important! the less buzz you have the less likely you will be able to haggle a better deal for yourself.

The bottom line is a 360 deal is the industry's way of verifying that they will make money off of you in one way or another..READ YOUR CONTRACTS!

figure this:

20% to your managers
about 10% to taxes
5% to your attorney
5% to your business lawyer
in 360's labels get up to 30%

thats 70% of your income paid out before you even see anything sad thing about that fact is rappers already made about 10 cent per album sale...again i say READ YOUR CONTRACTS!