Contracts are the hub of all royalty processes – they are used to store contract terms, track the participation rates on associated catalogue, and track the payee’s balance. Please watch our introduction to Contracts in the video below. We have provided notes and further reading below.
In the Contract you will specify which rate you will pay as a royalty to your composers. You will also specify how often you want to create a statement for this Contract, if there currently is an outstanding balance for the Contract, which Payee you want to account the royalties to, and if you want to create self-billing invoices on behalf of the composer. You can create Contracts either via the interface on Curve, or in bulk via the Publishing Contract Excel template.
Add Contracts via the Interface
To get started, go to the Contracts directory in the sidebar and select the Contracts page. You can create a new Contract by selecting the +Create button on the top right of your screen. A Contract has many features to allow for a wide variety of agreements, from simple to complex. First, we will go through all of the steps one would go through when creating a Contract. Further down, we’ll briefly discuss the other available options you may wish to use.
1. Select the Payee – Specify the Payee in whose portal you would like the statements of this Contract to be published.
2. Name your Contract – For your and the payee’s reference, pick a name that is clear and consistent.
3. Specify the Currency of this Contract – Do you wish to account to your composer in your Home Currency? Or perhaps you wish to account to them in a currency that suits the payee better? Additional currencies can be set up in your Settings.
4. Select the Accounting Period – How often do you wish to account to this payee? Your accounting period type options can be customised in your Settings.
5. Set the Opening Balance – Is there any ongoing business going on with this composer? Perhaps the payee is due an unpaid royalty, or there is a loss or advance still to be recouped? The Opening Balance field allows you to set the starting point for your first royalty statement to build on.
6. Set the Minimum Payout – Only balances that hit this minimum payment threshold will be paid to your composer. This is generally implemented to avoid having to make frequent, small payments.
7. Enable/Disable Auto-Payment – When enabled, and once the balance of the contract has reached the Minimum Payout, Curve will automatically notify you a payment is due to the payee and mark the balance as paid. When disabled, you will wait for the payee to personally invoice you the balance, and manually deduct payments made on the Transactions tab.
9. Set your Sales Terms – The royalty rates are set within the Terms tab, and here you have the ability to pinpoint specific terms for specific use cases. The first line of a term can be read as an “if” statement, the second line can be read as a “then,” i.e., if revenue matches the given criteria, then apply the given royalty rate. Here you specify the royalty share that should be shared with the payee. How many terms you need depends on the complexity of the agreement. The simplest of all royalty deals will have just one general term and all Income will be applied the same royalty rate. In the example below, 50% of all revenue will be shared with your composer.
You may need to add more Income terms to your contract if you pay different royalty rates for different Income types. In the example below, 60% of all Performance revenue will be shared with the composer, all other revenue types will be shared at 50%. To any given Income line, the contract will always apply the term that is most specific. The term that is deemed most specific is the term with a set condition highest up in the hierarchy. The hierarchy goes from left to right, so from Cat Type > Cat Group > Territory > Channel > Configuration > Source.
For more information on how to set your sales & cost terms, please visit the Terms in a Publishing Deal chapter in our documentation.
Additionally, there are a bunch of Contract features that may be helpful but are optional to use. We briefly break them down below. For more information on these features, please visit the Contracts chapter in our documentation.
Apply a custom Statement Design – As a default, your Contract will use the statement design as specified in your Settings, but you can further customise the statement design of this contract or a group of contracts using Companies.
Store the original Contract file – Attach a PDF version of your artist deal to the Contract for your own reference.
Set a Start & End Date – Specify for your own reference the start and expiration date of your Contract. This is just for your own reference and will not affect your royalty accounting process, even when the expiration date has passed.
Categorise your Contracts – You can categorise your Contracts for your own reference. This does not impact your royalty accounting process.
Generate Self-Bill Invoice – Automatically creates an invoice on behalf of your artist when the Minimum Payout is met.
Generate Fees Invoice – You will automatically create an invoice that specifies your distribution fee or commission.
Deduct Withholding Tax – Deduct tax from the payee’s royalties.
Transfer or deduct royalties from one Contract to another using Cross-Contracts – If you wish to deduct one payee’s royalties from another, or wish to summarise multiple contract balances onto one summary contract, you can use Cross-Contracts.
Group your Term conditions – Simplify your Terms by using Contract Term Groups. This allows you to create a group of Territories, Channels, Configurations and Sources within the same term.
Catalogue specific royalty rates using Catalogue Groups – This allows you to differentiate the royalty rate from one Work to another, all within the same Contract. More info
Escalations – Enables you to pay an increased royalty rate to your artist once a certain number of units or revenue has been met, or once a date has been passed. More info
Add Contracts via the Excel template
Your next step will be to add catalogue to your Curve client. Please visit the Catalogue for publishers chapter next.