What is a production deal?
A production agreement is the name usually given to a recording contract between artist and a company which is neither a major record company nor an independent record company, but is merely in the business of making recordings which it then licenses or assigns to a record company.
Should you sign one?
Most artists would prefer to sign a record contract with a record company rather than a production company for the obvious reason that a production company is a “Middle man” with the inevitable paradigm that the artists earnings are reduced. In recent times there has been an increase of production deals happening.
There has been a reduction in both quality and quantity of A&R staff so that there has been a trend for the record companies to look more and more to outside teams of producers and writers. As a result, the number of direct signings to record companies is reducing and the number of production deals has increased dramatically.
Artists should realise, however, that a production deal is merely a step towards a record deal and only a fraction of production deals result in the production company getting the artist a worthwhile record deal.