made by a record company
to, or on behalf of, an artist under contract
, that the artist is contractually bound to repay to the record company.
Recoupables can include recording costs, advertising and marketing costs, the cost of manufacture of media (CDs and vinyl), any signing advance promised to the band by the A&R guy, and of course any other expense paid for by the company on behalf of the artist.
Recoupables are invariably taken out of artist royalties, and are the reason for many bands racking up enormous record company debts that will dog them until they either split up, or are dropped from their contract.