Artist-centric advances. Finally.

Own your music, finance your business, take back control.

Your music is already making money.

Get a year's worth of that cash up-front through Scale.

Use it for whatever you need and retain full ownership.

Advances that actually put you first.

You set the terms.

Fine tune the advance size and the payback speed to land on the right fee for your business. Scale advances are flexible to grow with you.

No interest, just an advance fee.

Your advance fee is customized for your business' needs. The total payback amount is the advance amount + the advance fee. No more complicated math.

Maintain ownership.

We won't ever claim ownership of your music or dictate how you use the advance.

Set the terms of your advance.

What is your average monthly income from your digital sound recordings?

Enter at least $500 to use the calculator.

Min

Max

15%

100%

Choose the % of your monthly earnings that you can commit towards paying off the advance.

Advance Duration

 

The time it’ll take to pay off this advance.

Advance Fee

 

FEE_PCT of ADV_AMT. This is our fixed, one-time fee.

Total Payback Amount

 

The advance amount plus the fee, that's it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Scale advance?

When you take a Scale advance, we’re providing you with cash upfront in exchange for a fixed percentage (aka “payback contribution”) of your future earnings until the advance is paid off. Since your payback contribution is a percent of your monthly earnings, that amount goes up and down with your earnings. This leaves you with earnings even in your low months, and there’s no risk of paying out of pocket. Choose a payback contribution percentage that fits your business and don’t worry about paying back more than you can afford.

Why should I get a Scale advance?

A Scale advance makes sense for you if you need a larger sum of money than your regular monthly Stem payment to help fund a project, tour, merch, etc.

Is this a loan?

No, this is not a loan. The main difference between a standard business loan and a Scale advance, is payback. With a loan, the monthly payment is consistent and predetermined with interest. With a Scale advance, the monthly payment is a fixed percentage of your future monthly earnings. This leaves you with earnings even in your low months, and there’s no risk of paying out of pocket.

Will applying for a Scale advance affect my credit score?

No, we do not run credit checks when you apply for a Scale advance.

Will a Scale advance affect my splits?

No, we take your current splits into account when we model your advance, and lock splits once an advance is initiated. Your shareholders will continue to be paid out via Stem on a monthly basis.

Why is a Scale advance not subject to taxes?

Scale advances are not loans and are not technically income.

 

For a more detailed answer, Stem recommends that you consult your accountant, business manager, or another tax advisor. Stem does not provide tax, financial, or legal advice and this information is not intended to be tax, financial, or legal advice.

Do you own the rights to my music?

With a Scale advance, artists will own 100% of their master and only pay Stem’s low distribution fee. This is compared to almost all distribution or label deals that require that you give up a percent of recording revenue for all releases, even after you recoup 100%.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Location: A Scale advance is only available to creators (independent artists and labels, songwriters, producers) in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom.

 

Income: While there is no specific minimum income, a Scale advance is best for creative businesses that are earning $2,500 or more from digital sound recording earnings a month.

 

Distribution: If you are not already earning digital sound recording royalties through Stem, you must agree to transfer your catalog to Stem before an advance can be issued. If you are locked into a contract or if you’d like to initiate a catalog transfer, contact us to learn more about how this works and how we can help.

What do I need to apply for a Scale advance?

If you are a Stem Direct Member, you’ll need Administrator/Owner/Uploader rights on your catalog and fully accepted splits on all content in your catalog.

 

If you don’t currently have your music on Stem, you’ll need the ability to transfer some content to Stem and to provide earnings statements covering the last 6 months.

Do you have to be a Stem Direct member to get a Scale advance?

Yes. If you are not already a Stem Direct Member, you can apply here.

How do you calculate the Scale advance fee?

Our Scale advance fee is based on your average monthly digital streaming earnings, the size of the advance requested, and how quickly you want to pay the advance back. The fee will be smaller if you decide to contribute a higher percentage of your future monthly earnings. The fee will be higher if you decide to pay us back slower. It’s entirely up to you!

 

The Scale advance fee is calculated for you up-front, and is clearly communicated when you take an advance.

How quickly can I get a Scale advance?

In 5 days or more.

 

If you currently have your catalog on Stem (ie: a Stem Direct membership), we can issue you Scale advance as soon as 5 business days. After you submit your application, give us a few days to verify that you don’t have any pending splits, and to double-check your average monthly earnings. Once approved, it takes a few more business days for the advance amount to hit your bank account.

 

If your music isn’t currently on Stem, it takes us a little longer to learn about your business in order to properly offer you terms and on-board you onto Stem.

If approved, how do I get the Scale advance?

Every Scale advancee is required to sync a bank account to Stem (account and routing information) via our payments partner, Qwil. Once the connection is verified, we’ll disburse your advance and provide repayment balances every month.

How do I repay the Scale advance?

This is the easy part — we do all the heavy lifting! When you agree to an advance, you lock in a payback contribution percentage. Every month, we’ll deduct that percent from your regular earnings and pay you the rest.

 

Repayment statements will be emailed to you on a monthly basis until repayment statements are available in the Stem app.

Can I pay off a Scale advance early?

Yes, it is possible for an advance to be paid off earlier than expected if your future earnings are higher than we anticipated! In fact, this is what Scale is all about and what ends up happening to many Scale advancees. We also support the option to payback the advance early.

 

With a Scale advance, it’s up to you to invest the cash in ways that’ll grow your business. If your future earnings exceed our original projections, you’ll pay it off faster and be eligible for another advance.

What's the catch?

There is none! If you’re having a hard time understanding the logistics or the possible implications of taking a Stem advance, talk to your account manager about setting up a meeting.

What happens after the Advance Duration?

After your advance is fully paid back, your account with Stem will return to normal. In the last month of the advance, you’ll pay back whatever is remaining. The following month, you’ll go back to retaining 100% of your net earnings. You’ll be eligible for another advance based off of your latest earnings history!