In general music production companies exist to facilitate the growth of an artist who they think has the potential to blow up as a huge superstar.
They undertake an initiative financial risk by discovering and offering such an artist a "production deal" to produce a number of singles, EPs and mixtapes.
If the projects are successful and getting more spins on the internet they will proceed to use that as evidence to convince a major record label to enable their machine (financial resources, connections, etc) behind an artist to push them further into stardom.
If a major record label is happy with what they see and hear they will offer that artist a record contract.
For example, let's just say a 4 album deal while at the same time a production company will receive X percentage of income from that contract since they are the ones who built the artist from the ground.
In a nutshell, production deals are about pimping an artist to a major record label. So obviously a production agreement isn't necessarily a record contract.
But quite a number of production deals are now set up in a similar way like a 360 deal. The onus is on the artist to understand what they are really getting themselves into.
An artist should also give a production company a timeframe to say if they don't link them up with a major label after this period of time has elapsed they should be set free from a contract.
No artist in his or her right mind wants to be stuck in a production deal. Hell naw. 🤦🏾♂️
A production company in the music industry is a business that has at least enough money to pay for beats (instrumentals), studio time, mixing, mastering and final release to Spotify, iTunes & YouTube music.
They might have a little pocket change left for music videos, marketing/promotion here and there but that is not usually the main goal.
The main objective is about shopping an artist to a major record company for both distribution and of course, establishing a record contract.
As you can see, a production deal if done in all fairness results in purposefully laying down the foundation from which future investments that come via a record deal should easily be recoupable without too many doubts about success.
The terms of a contract in a production deal are what defines the issue of master recordings. It all depends on the nature of the agreement because there aren't strict standards that are really followed.
Every deal is different -- most artists negotiate a 50/50% split of both masters and music publishing rights with production companies.