Why An Independent Artist Must Consider Receiving Micro-Advances

Trudy Kirabo
Feb 16, 2022
2 min read

From recording to releases, touring, marketing, and promoting, music products and services are important to an artist’s continued success. However, they come with a cost that may be beyond an artist’s reach. Nonetheless, you don't have to compromise your creative rights because of lack of finances. Here are a few reasons why receiving a micro-advance will help advance and benefit your career as an independent artist/creative.

1). It continues to advance your independence. Most major labels or agencies will sometimes offer artists an advancement. These large sums of  money (usually cash) are given to an artist when they sign a record deal. This money will tend to go towards helping an artist record an album or to begin their project. This advance can be split into parts, e.g. 50% paid upfront and 50% paid after delivering the required EP or LP. However, these advances usually are accompanied by many rules and conditions on what the finances can and should be used for. Receiving a micro-advance from a separate service company will allow you to stay in full control and keep 100% of the rights to your work. It will also give you the independence to decide how the finances are used and the flexibility to choose your own distribution and marketing partners.

2). You get the full advancement amount offered to you. With labels and agencies, the initial dollar amount isn’t what you take home. Managers can take up to 20% of this amount and lawyers can take up to 5% share of the advance. Also, traditionally there is a commission taken off of these label payments, meaning a $100,000 advance would really be $75,000-$80,000 for you. With micro-advances, you get to keep the whole amount without having to spilt it unless this is something you personally want to do.

Finally, labels may take a cut of your revenue from your streams, downloads, CDs, etc. Royalty rates can vary by territory (e.g. a higher rate for domestic sales and a lower rate for international sales) and won’t hit your bank account if you have an un-recouped balance (if your royalties haven’t paid back your advance and budgets). It’s standard for acts to receive around 15% of revenue in traditional deals and 50% with indie labels, depending on the level of involvement and the resources labels provide. On the other hand, micro-advances from an independent product service will more likely have you keep 100% of your royalties and you won't have to worry about them being recouped through your physical merchandise, digital sales or any other income stream.

That's why platforms like Bump, where the aim is to eliminate traditional barriers that creators face in order to provide them with access to their hard-earned money, is vital. By opening up this access, we believe that we will make a positive impact on the industry by making it better and smarter, and will allow for more creators to share their talent with a global audience.

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