Hello Everyone,

I have been contacted by a Christian-based record label called "Tate Music Group" (TMG), and offered a record deal.  I am researching this company, which appears to be very legitimate, and reviewing the contract with a lawyer in the music industry from Franklin, TN.

I am writing this discussion to solicit feedback from anyone that may have any knowledge or experience in dealing with Tate Music Group.  They also run Tate Publishing for books/audio books, etc.

www.tatemusicgroup.com

I appreciate anyone's feedback, and welcome further conversation on this topic.

Have an excellent day,
Bobby.

Tags: TMG, Tate, contract, label, record

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What kind of a deal? They are reputable as far as I know.
Read some despairing words... who knows? Internet research it. But if it seems smelly it probably is... Will they take you into the studio? I liked your voice btw.

David
VERY OBSERVANT MR GRAHAM AS USUAL, I FOUND THIS ON A MESSAGE BOARD


QUESTION
i submitted a tune there and now i have a contract in my hands for a full length cd, but i am wondering what it is really like to be partnered up with them, they require an initial investment of $1900 but that is returned on your 2500 cd sale. i assume they don't want to risk any money till u prove yourself, also i am sure they make money whether u fail or succeed because of the 1900, some would say run away, its a scam, but i would like know from any one who has tried this route. they seem legit, but are the artist selling enough to get their investment back i wonder? hmmmmm any how, i doubt i will do it, but i am curious, also new tune up on my page called whats wrong with you.


RESPONSE
Tate Music Group is probably not a good choice. We went back and forth with Tate Music Group for over a month trying to work out the details. I am represented by an established entertainment attorney who has handled national acts for years.

He reviewed the Tate Music Group contract and had a couple of concerns. When we started asking questions of Tate Music Group they began not to return phone calls. Ignoring emails. And basically when asked about their distrubution, radio promotions, booking services for over a month they responded with they weren't interested anymore.

The first red flag that should go up for anyone thinking about becoming involved with Tate Music Group is when you review their bands bookings lists. It is apparent it is primarily the bands doing their own booking at locations that anyone could book themselves. And that Tate Music Group is only posting them on their web site.

Next red flag was the copyright clause included in their contract. Our attorney told us not to sign with that language included in the agreement. Repeated inquiries of Tate Music Group with regards to that clause resulted in no response what-so-ever. It was pretty clear why they weren't responding.

Next red flag was they claim they want you to invest 1,900 dollars because they will be investing over $20,000 into your project. However, when confronted with a request as to when and what these alleged expenditures were, when they would kick in, and what they were to be used for resulted in double talk explainations that never provided a direct answer.

The more they refused and failed to answer questions resulted in more questions being asked, and at no time were any direct answers given to the specific inquiries.

For less than 1,900 dollars you can press 1,000 CD's and obtain most of the distrubution they represent they will provide without having to give them 50% of your earnings.

To be honest, there is nothing you can't do on your own that they are claiming to provide you as a service.

As such I would suggest that you run as fast as you can from Tate Music Group and save the 1,900 dollars they are in the business of getting from unsuspecting artists.

It may not be a scam by definition. But it is far from anything I believe is worth throwing 1,900 dollars away on.

Oh, and the censorship of material by Tate Music Group was over the top. Did you notice the last page of your contract before the signature page. Very scary in the scope of things.

Also, after reading some of the items Tate Music Group included in your contract. It is apparent they use that bait tactic of offering every artist a deal, and then tell you they are so impressed with you as an artist that they are cutting the number of units you need to sell, and the amount of your investment in half, because you are so good.

Based on our experience with Tate Music Group I would suggest that anyone research other options before even thinking of signing a contract with them. Or at the very least have an attorney review it for you.
Hello Nan,

I received a contract to do a record deal - I would have to invest $1986.00, and they are putting up nearly $30,000.00 (+) in total cost (stated in the contract). The contract seems very straight forward, there isn't a lot of words that are misunderstood, etc. Tate labels this a Marketing and Distribution contract. I had my brother review this as well (he is the VP of Marketing/Distribution for a major soft drink), and he stated that he was very impressed with this contract.

They do state that they will pay me back my investment after 2500 CDs are sold, and that there is no further investment unless we have an agreement (signed by both Tate and Me) in writing added to this contract. Also, they state very plainly that the songs are still my property, but that they copyright the entire CD as 1 product. So, if I would like to do something different with one of the songs individually, I can do that. I just cannot do anything with the album as an entire product without authority from Tate.

I have talked back and forth with my contact roughly 3 times in the last 6-7 days, asking quite a few questions. She has gotten the answers to my questions, and returned my call within 1 business day. (that's not to say that would continue after the contract is in hand). Also, I asked for a copy of the contract, and it was next-day aired to my doorstep with a return (paid) envelope.

I told them that I would be interested in flying out to see the studio, meet the engineers, and listen to some of the material that has been recorded there. They were very open to this, and stated that they are putting some studio additions in this month, so I may want to wait until the end of the month or later to see them - but were not against me coming out even today.

My thought on this is pretty simple - if I can get a very decent (at least radio quality) recording for $1986, then this is very worth it... plus the possibility of getting some booking and press through Tate. They put up a nice site, and I feel good about this as a Christian Artist. I will definitely update this once I have toured the studios, and met the execs, etc. This seems like a golden opportunity, and I would just hate to walk away from it without even further research.

It looks like Kenny Rogers and Neil McCoy have been working with them (as Tate Publishing) for a couple of books they are writing, etc. That is posted on their site, so if anyone has a contact to either Kenny or Neil, perhaps we could get their take on how they have been treated?

If anyone else has experience with this, please feel free to post. I really appreciate the feedback on this.

Have an awesome day/weekend!
Bobby.

Nan Cassidy said:
What kind of a deal? They are reputable as far as I know.
Hello David,

I have done some research through the internet on key words, "scam" etc., and found a couple of people that called it a scam, but it seemed to be completely based on the fact that they are asking for money up front. I don't feel that this is a very fair assumption; yet at the same time, it is noted in my brain. :-)

Thank you for your kind words as well, they are humbly appreciated.
Have an excellent day/weekend.
Bobby.

David L Graham said:
Read some despairing words... who knows? Internet research it. But if it seems smelly it probably is... Will they take you into the studio? I liked your voice btw.

David
Hello Everyone,

I will be going to Tate Music Group this week and will update this blog with my findings. They seem very legit to this point. I was able to review many of the blogs that people were posting to regarding TMG, and found that there was much more to the story than what was posted.

The posting from Mr. Graham below was what really got me into checking this business out. I actually found the blog that was written by this artist, and was interested to read all the way through it... including posts from TMG (Ryan Tate and Trinity Tate). Everything is there, and it is very easy to see that this was a secular musician that feels he has taken his lumps and deserves stardom. He was extremely upset and even responded with some profanity when they said that they are focusing on Christian-based music. It's all there if you'd like to check it out....

http://www.audiostreet.net/forums.aspx?m=topic&tid=836

I also have a personal friend, who knows a person that published a children's book with Tate Publishing and was VERY happy with the experience. This is the same company, but they have a couple of different areas of business that they dabble in (including movies down the road it sounds like). The local channel interviewed this company, and this is pretty interesting to watch as well - this gave me a bit more of a warm fuzzy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRuezv0GXm8&feature=related

They show that Tate Publishing Company is one of the biggest publishers in the country. Like I said, it's easy to find people complain about this company, but it seems that their issue is that they didn't become "famous" or "stars" in their eyes, or because they ask for some initial investment up front.

My thought on this - if I can get a decent "radio quality" CD produced by TMG for under $2K, then this is a great deal alone; but on top of that, you get everything else that TMG offers their artists. They don't offer success, but more of a vehicle to help enhance what most artists are already doing on their own - booking, performing, selling merch, and trying to establish themselves.

www.tatemusicgroup.com/fortherecord

All of that is included in that initial price..... that is a good deal. Like I said - I will check it out and report back my findings. Also, if I do decide to go forward with this, I'll keep a journal of working with them, and post songs as they are produced so that everyone can see what TMG is about. I'm not 100% sold, but this business is about taking some chances, and making smart investments. At this point, this is the best investment that the industry has offered.... let's see if it pans out. :-)

I pray that each of you reaches the success that you are striving for.
Have a blessed day.
Bobby.


Bobby Erickson (BobbyE) said:
Hello Nan,

I received a contract to do a record deal - I would have to invest $1986.00, and they are putting up nearly $30,000.00 (+) in total cost (stated in the contract). The contract seems very straight forward, there isn't a lot of words that are misunderstood, etc. Tate labels this a Marketing and Distribution contract. I had my brother review this as well (he is the VP of Marketing/Distribution for a major soft drink), and he stated that he was very impressed with this contract.

They do state that they will pay me back my investment after 2500 CDs are sold, and that there is no further investment unless we have an agreement (signed by both Tate and Me) in writing added to this contract. Also, they state very plainly that the songs are still my property, but that they copyright the entire CD as 1 product. So, if I would like to do something different with one of the songs individually, I can do that. I just cannot do anything with the album as an entire product without authority from Tate.

I have talked back and forth with my contact roughly 3 times in the last 6-7 days, asking quite a few questions. She has gotten the answers to my questions, and returned my call within 1 business day. (that's not to say that would continue after the contract is in hand). Also, I asked for a copy of the contract, and it was next-day aired to my doorstep with a return (paid) envelope.

I told them that I would be interested in flying out to see the studio, meet the engineers, and listen to some of the material that has been recorded there. They were very open to this, and stated that they are putting some studio additions in this month, so I may want to wait until the end of the month or later to see them - but were not against me coming out even today.

My thought on this is pretty simple - if I can get a very decent (at least radio quality) recording for $1986, then this is very worth it... plus the possibility of getting some booking and press through Tate. They put up a nice site, and I feel good about this as a Christian Artist. I will definitely update this once I have toured the studios, and met the execs, etc. This seems like a golden opportunity, and I would just hate to walk away from it without even further research.

It looks like Kenny Rogers and Neil McCoy have been working with them (as Tate Publishing) for a couple of books they are writing, etc. That is posted on their site, so if anyone has a contact to either Kenny or Neil, perhaps we could get their take on how they have been treated?

If anyone else has experience with this, please feel free to post. I really appreciate the feedback on this.

Have an awesome day/weekend!
Bobby.

Nan Cassidy said:
What kind of a deal? They are reputable as far as I know.
One additional note.....

Please don't take my response as any type of negative comment toward what people have introduced to me out here. I honestly respect all of the feedback, and thank each person that was willing to take time to do any research or post their thoughts and concerns out here. This is the other reason I want to follow up with my journal on this experience; I honestly want to either promote a decent opportunity for musicians, or expose a bad experience - however the chips may fall.

Thanks again to everyone for their posts, thoughts, and concerns about this topic.
I really appreciate the family feel that TSE Artists have for each other.

Have an excellent night,
Bobby.

Bobby Erickson (BobbyE) said:
Hello Everyone,

I will be going to Tate Music Group this week and will update this blog with my findings. They seem very legit to this point. I was able to review many of the blogs that people were posting to regarding TMG, and found that there was much more to the story than what was posted.

The posting from Mr. Graham below was what really got me into checking this business out. I actually found the blog that was written by this artist, and was interested to read all the way through it... including posts from TMG (Ryan Tate and Trinity Tate). Everything is there, and it is very easy to see that this was a secular musician that feels he has taken his lumps and deserves stardom. He was extremely upset and even responded with some profanity when they said that they are focusing on Christian-based music. It's all there if you'd like to check it out....

http://www.audiostreet.net/forums.aspx?m=topic&tid=836

I also have a personal friend, who knows a person that published a children's book with Tate Publishing and was VERY happy with the experience. This is the same company, but they have a couple of different areas of business that they dabble in (including movies down the road it sounds like). The local channel interviewed this company, and this is pretty interesting to watch as well - this gave me a bit more of a warm fuzzy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRuezv0GXm8&feature=related

They show that Tate Publishing Company is one of the biggest publishers in the country. Like I said, it's easy to find people complain about this company, but it seems that their issue is that they didn't become "famous" or "stars" in their eyes, or because they ask for some initial investment up front.

My thought on this - if I can get a decent "radio quality" CD produced by TMG for under $2K, then this is a great deal alone; but on top of that, you get everything else that TMG offers their artists. They don't offer success, but more of a vehicle to help enhance what most artists are already doing on their own - booking, performing, selling merch, and trying to establish themselves.

www.tatemusicgroup.com/fortherecord

All of that is included in that initial price..... that is a good deal. Like I said - I will check it out and report back my findings. Also, if I do decide to go forward with this, I'll keep a journal of working with them, and post songs as they are produced so that everyone can see what TMG is about. I'm not 100% sold, but this business is about taking some chances, and making smart investments. At this point, this is the best investment that the industry has offered.... let's see if it pans out. :-)

I pray that each of you reaches the success that you are striving for.
Have a blessed day.
Bobby.


Bobby Erickson (BobbyE) said:
Hello Nan,

I received a contract to do a record deal - I would have to invest $1986.00, and they are putting up nearly $30,000.00 (+) in total cost (stated in the contract). The contract seems very straight forward, there isn't a lot of words that are misunderstood, etc. Tate labels this a Marketing and Distribution contract. I had my brother review this as well (he is the VP of Marketing/Distribution for a major soft drink), and he stated that he was very impressed with this contract.

They do state that they will pay me back my investment after 2500 CDs are sold, and that there is no further investment unless we have an agreement (signed by both Tate and Me) in writing added to this contract. Also, they state very plainly that the songs are still my property, but that they copyright the entire CD as 1 product. So, if I would like to do something different with one of the songs individually, I can do that. I just cannot do anything with the album as an entire product without authority from Tate.

I have talked back and forth with my contact roughly 3 times in the last 6-7 days, asking quite a few questions. She has gotten the answers to my questions, and returned my call within 1 business day. (that's not to say that would continue after the contract is in hand). Also, I asked for a copy of the contract, and it was next-day aired to my doorstep with a return (paid) envelope.

I told them that I would be interested in flying out to see the studio, meet the engineers, and listen to some of the material that has been recorded there. They were very open to this, and stated that they are putting some studio additions in this month, so I may want to wait until the end of the month or later to see them - but were not against me coming out even today.

My thought on this is pretty simple - if I can get a very decent (at least radio quality) recording for $1986, then this is very worth it... plus the possibility of getting some booking and press through Tate. They put up a nice site, and I feel good about this as a Christian Artist. I will definitely update this once I have toured the studios, and met the execs, etc. This seems like a golden opportunity, and I would just hate to walk away from it without even further research.

It looks like Kenny Rogers and Neil McCoy have been working with them (as Tate Publishing) for a couple of books they are writing, etc. That is posted on their site, so if anyone has a contact to either Kenny or Neil, perhaps we could get their take on how they have been treated?

If anyone else has experience with this, please feel free to post. I really appreciate the feedback on this.

Have an awesome day/weekend!
Bobby.

Nan Cassidy said:
What kind of a deal? They are reputable as far as I know.
Bobby, yes, usually artists and songwriters aren't required to spend any money to sign a deal but if you are feeling good about it and have an entertainment attorney going over everything with you, then go for it. I wish you all the very best, you've got the talent just need that break.
Hello Brenda,

Thanks for your note and your kind words.

I want to meet the people, listen to their products, and nail down exactly what is going to happen if I do sign that contract. Then, I'll probably discuss a little more, and make a much more informed decision that I am comfortable with. I'll post what I find out here for anyone that may be interested.

Could anybody fill me in on what the usual procedure is when dealing with a record label? Do they usually front all of the money for recording, promo, distribution, booking, photoshoot, travel, etc.? Thanks in advance for any further feedback on this...

Blessings to you and yours.
Bobby.

Brenda McBryde said:
Bobby, yes, usually artists and songwriters aren't required to spend any money to sign a deal but if you are feeling good about it and have an entertainment attorney going over everything with you, then go for it. I wish you all the very best, you've got the talent just need that break.
The money one usually spends upfront is the money it has taken them to get to the point of signing a record deal.
Hello Everyone!!

I visited Tate Music Group, and developed a much better understanding of their focus and how they assist artists in the Music Industry. They are a bit larger than I originally anticipated; they have 7 buildings and roughly 150 employees for their Publishing and Music projects. Here are some facts that stand out to me with TMG:

1 - Their contract is very good, and states very clearly the services that you will be receiving from TMG.
A. There is no length determined, but the contract will continue on until one of the two parties decides to terminate (90 day notice).
B. There is no statement as to the quality of the recordings that are offered by TMG (more on this later).
C. There are no hidden costs that are not outlined in the contract.

2 - The services appear to be very good quality, and the people seem very comfortable to work with.
A. Booking, promoting, web pages, marketing, photo shoot, media pressing, distribution, are all excellent.
B. The quality of the recording are focused on digital distribution. Because of this, they are shooting for a very high quality MP3 format for the final product. This would very likely be comparable to the other MP3s that are available for download, but there is a noticeable difference on the actual CDs. Pro studios focus on the CD first, and create the digital media options based on that excellent sound - not the other way around. Honestly - this is my only hangup at this point.
C. The staff is really excellent, casual yet professional, and seem very loyal.
D. Their sound engineer was very straight forward as to the quality of recording that they are shooting for and why. This was very helpful in helping me understand the base product that TMG would be marketing, and why they can do this at a much discounted price.
E. They are open to accepting tracks from other studios, so I believe that if an artist has an excellent quality recording, they could utilize TMG to get their brand out there, and name established a little faster in the digital media world. This is probably the route that I will take.
F. The recording is still very good, and this is still a decent option for artists that want to focus on digital media, and just get out there to start playing and promoting their career. My only thought on this, is that I want to make a GREAT impression right out of the gate; thus, I am researching further options for the base recording.

I am very glad that I made the visit, and that Linda was able to go with me as well. She asked a few questions that I had not thought of, which was excellent. I am currently speaking with a Nashville studio about getting the base CD recorded there, and then further discussing an arrangement with TMG for their other services.

If there are any questions on this, please feel free to ask. Again, I appreciated all of the comments that were offered previous to my trip, and if I can offer any information to assist anyone on Tunesmith, I'd be happy to help.

Have a blessed day everyone!
Bobby.
Bobby so they charge S1986 for ONE recording and for promitng it to radio>

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