Getting Paid


New Member
The hardest part is getting paid!

I have been forced to discount up to 30% on invoices to one large clients who say they can't pay as product has performed badly.
Mentioning no names (indie label based in London live albums & live DVD's are the main product)
I have tried to reduce this by offering up front payment at a reduced rate as a way to entice clients to pay in advance (15%-20% off for advance payment)

Best of luck!
That's why I always write a contract before I record anyone, even my friends

Very good practice, but tricky with friends. At the very least it's a good idea to just write down all payment time commitments for both parties and explain that it is there to preserve the friendship.

In this case it's extortion - Nyquest could take the label to small claims court quite easily, but that of clourse closes off an avenue of possible future work, something few of us can afford to do - and they know that.
There are two problems with bowing to the extortion this company has exhibited (saying they'll only pay if you knock off 30% from the originally agreed price).

The first (small) problem is that you aren't getting paid properly.

The second far bigger problem is that there are a lot of you around. A lot of people get suckered into similar situations and create an atmosphere in which it becomes commonplace to screw over the studio.

It has become so bad that many clients don't even think they're being dicks and thieves by refusing (partial or whole) payment. And it's really easy to walk all over the wishy washy studio owner or musician who is convinced that it was an honour to provide services even discounted or free.
The hardest part is getting paid!

I have been forced to discount up to 30% on invoices to one large clients who say they can't pay as product has performed badly.
Mentioning no names (indie label based in London live albums & live DVD's are the main product)

What do you mean exactly when you say "performed badly"? Who's performance?

I am not sure I understand this one... if I am the "performer, I redo the part until it's done the way it was requested. If it is a 2nd party, someone who is attached to the label, it's not my problem if their band doesn't play well. They owe me what they owe me.

When dealing with a headless corporation, expect a while to get your cash, but always make sure you have a contract outlining what is to be expected from all parties, and always get 50% up front (to cover your time and expenses). As long as you have a detailed agreement, you should be covered in court.

On the other hand, if you know that this company does this type of thing, name names. Make sure people know who they are. Your power becomes the fact that they can't screw over other people because they become known in the area as a bad client.

In the end, we need to make a living to be able to do this (or get a real day job doing something else). Being paid if part of what we have to do, and that means :A) Going to court or sending a nice legal threat B) Letting our community know that a client is a bad debtor, or C) not working for someone we know is a bad debtor.

And I can assure you of one thing: do this long enough, and you are going to be stiffed for a big amount of cash one day. Make sure you have a plan for when it happens, or you might loose everything you have worked to gain...

Hope this helps,

George Leger III

doing music, recording, and tech work for almost 26 years now...
Hmm just tuned in to this. Would I be correct in guessing that when Nyquest says "...product has performed badly..." he means that it hasn't sold well, not that the playing is substandard..? If that's the case, then it's just another (recently prevalent) example of a business owner crying the blues to employees and contractors to try to get them to share in the losses.
I recommend filing a small claim against such a company (of course you need a contract in place for this to hold up in court). Cost of filing a small claim is around $30. And if the defendant doesn't show, they are generally found to be culpable. To find your small claims office, conduct a google search with the following phrases in quotes: "small claims" "[your county]" "[your state abbreviation]"
Cut the middle man out and publish your own material through Tunecore - they'll charge a small fee for digital distribution to online digital music stores such as Amazon, iTunes etc. but at least you'll definitely get paid and because you'll get 100% of the cash that your music earns through digital distribution you won't need to sell as many units.
Haggling about the price after delivery is something that occurs much too often in other business segments as well. Contracts are good (I'd say more or less a must), but getting the client to accept the delivery somehow as well is recommendation - a short mail that says "ok, this what we agreed" is usually enough. Makes it all the more difficult for them to backpedal later on. If you can get them to agree to a checkpoint, or two, along the way all the better - The more times they have said that you're delivering exactly what they want, the more difficult it will be for them to claim that they shouldn't pay full price.