Higgs Communications, LLC  

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Digital Distribution FAQ

Q. I applied to iTunes and have been turned down. Can you put my music onto iTunes?
A. Higgs Communications may be able to distribute your music in the iTunes Music Store. However, we have a fairly strict set of criteria. We want to work with artists and musical genres that actually interest us. We've worked with way too many people in the past who have unrealistic expectations. Our experience is that it's better not to work with an artist who is not "on the same page". We're not just talking about "American Idol-syndrome" either. That way we keep the "friction" down to a minimum and everyone gets something positive out of the relationship.

Q. So what kind of artists/music are you looking for?
A. We are specifically looking for artists and labels with the following types of recordings:

  1. Music with TV and/or Film exposure
  2. Expired / back catalog / out-of-print recordings
  3. Original (not sample-based) Techno / House / DJ-type music
  4. Christian worship (i.e. Vineyard / Integrity / Maranatha)

Q. What's the catch? What do I have to give up?
A. It's very simple. In order to handle the administration of your music, we charge a 10% administration fee which is almost identical to the way publishing administration works. Apple sell your songs for US$0.99 in the US iTunes Music Store. They pay us US$0.70 and we pay the artist/label 90% of whatever we receive, which, in this case is US$0.63 per track. There are payment threshholds which means that your money will acrue until you have earned enough to us to cut you a check.

Q. How is this better than a major label deal?
A. It all depends on where you are in your career and what your realistic expectations are. This isn't a record deal. It's a distribution deal. Let's use Sony distribution as a comparison. There's a lawsuit currently raging over this very topic. Tracks sold over the Internet usually go for about US$.099. About US$0.70 of the sale price goes to Sony. The bands signed to Sony are getting about 4 1/2 cents per song from Sony, according to the lawsuit, rather than the approximately US$0.30 cents they claim is rightfully theirs. Compare that to the 90% of gross income we pay artists/labels (and they get to keep their masters).

Q. What else do I need to know?
A. We are providing digital distribution only. This is not a "record deal". Occasionally there are marketing opportunities that occur - like being included on iTunes sampler CDs - but this is a bonus and we don't control this opportunity. The important part to know is that you are paid on the sales of your recorded music and you take home the lion's share of the pie. You will still own your masters so you are always free to press and distribute your CD (or not) and collect 100% of the revenue. And because you take home the lion's share of the online pie, you are free to decide how to spend your earnings (food, rent, gear, new recordings, marketing, etc.).

Q. What if I don't have a CD pressed?
A. This is not necesarily a problem. We are providing digital distribution only.

Q. How do we contact you?
A. Our contact information is available here.


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