Many record companies these days, before they offer a new artist a multi-album recording contract, will offer an artist what is known as a "demo" deal or a "development" deal. These are basically different names for the same fundamental thing, although the terms of a demo deal might be shorter. In these deals, the record company pays you to record a quality demo, and if the company likes the demo, it has the first right to sign you to a full record contract.

Photo courtesy Roman Candle

If the company decides not to sign you, you get to walk with the demo. With the escalating costs of signing a new artist and the substantial expenses often involved in recording an album (not to mention the astronomical cost and expense of promoting and trying to "break" a new artist's first album), record companies often want to get a little taste of what an artist can do in the studio before they make the big commitment.

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