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Q&A With Kenny Love
The Elusive Pressing and Distribution Deal
Commentary by Kenny Love

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I'm confused as to whom to approach regarding a possible P&D licensing deal. Could you help?

Signed, P&D Free


Dear P&D Free:

If you are seeking major label distribution, then you should probably contact a vice president in the label's distribution department. However, if you are seeking to remain as an independent label, and are not interested in working with a major label for distribution, you need to acquire the attention of an independent distributor. Though getting a distributor's attention is the easy part, the P&D deal is not nearly as easy to get.

You see, P&D not only refers to Pressing & Distribution, but it also means that the distributor picks up the manufacturing and pressing costs of your music, thus, eliminating the need for you to constantly worry about how much product you have, and how much money you have for manufacturing and pressing accordingly.

However, before the distributor will put his trust in such a deal, he will want to see that your music is a financial success at retail before offering to do so. In other words, your recording must be in constant demand, repeatedly, from music buyers.

And, a distributor generally determines its demand by the amount of re-orders you are receiving, and can provide him proof of. This means you will be required to pay for the manufacturing for repeat pressings until this proof can be established.

Also, whether or not you get distribution for your product at the beginning stage of your release, or later via a P&D deal, you will still need to provide promotion and publicity for your recording in order that it continues to move from the distributor's warehouse and, subsequently, from the retailers' shelves.

The absolute worst thing to do, is to acquire distribution, then not provide adequate promotion and publicity to support it. Not doing so, can cause a distributor to drop you from his roster, as well as cause retailers to stop ordering your recording because it is not moving from either area, and because you are not creating a demand for it at the consumer level.

While some distributors do provide a limited amount of promotion via their retail representatives, this promotion is, primarily, limited to the reps promoting your release to the retail store management and sales people, and not to the consumer market.

Yet, most musicians erroneously believe that if they can only manage to get distribution, they will have accomplished some major milestone, with no more concern on their part. Again, the consumer market is your own responsibility, and all of the rep-to-retail promotion will not mean a thing if you are not working the consumer end of your promotion, or have record promoters or publicists doing so.


Kenny Love has an extensive background in both the Music and Writing industries. Learn about the new services that he is providing to unsigned and independent recording artists in response to today's shaken and fractionalized Music industry by sending an email request to klmubiz@getresponse.com.

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