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Record Labels Looking for a Cut of Tour Revenues

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the blood-from-turnips dept.

Music 332

Anonymous Coward writes "As many a Slashdotter has pointed out, musicians make their money not from selling records but from going on tour. Now record labels are trying to get a piece of the action. 'Now the music labels, hungry for revenue from any source, are mulling over whether to make a grab for a piece of the tour biz. One company already has: In October EMI Recorded Music signed a deal with Brit singer Robbie Williams that gives the label a cut of the pop star's merchandise, publishing, touring revenue and sponsorship.'"

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332 comments

proplem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420509)

record labels are proplematic.

Re:proplem (0)

jbottero (585319) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420536)

Right, they just don't look right stuck to a CD, what with the different diameters and such. Also, sometimes they peel up and get stuck in the player.

This just in..... (5, Funny)

mrjive (169376) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420520)

...major corporations want more money.

Full story tonight at 11

What terms? (5, Insightful)

samjam (256347) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420593)

If the artists have accountants as good as the record labels they can surely manage to make a "loss" on all the tours after charging "consultancy" and "music services" etc, and having their own highly paid company of roadies, etc.

Give the record labels a taste of their own accounting!

Re:What terms? (4, Interesting)

beta21 (88000) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420745)

As much as I'd love to belive that I don;t think that will happen.

Stan Lee made this mistake for Spider man, most ppl know to ask for a percentage of the revenue flow not profits.

But it would be soooo nice to see record companies blunder

Re:What terms? (3, Funny)

Gherald (682277) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420793)

How about we just count the entire music industry a "loss"? Would everyone please just STOP LISTENING TO MUSIC?

This would solve all our problems. No RIAA, no lables, no artists, NO MUSIC!

Then Slashdot would be free of all this "Evil RIAA" mumbo jumbo and we can get on to discussing IMPORTANT things, such as the up and comming, breathtaking new release of awk !

Re:This just in..... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420664)


If there's one certainty I've learned in my 45 years on this earth, it's this: CmdrTaco loves that big old black dick shoved right in his face.

Other than that, there are no absolutes.

OMFG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420692)

As if the labels don't make enough money!!! OH GOD, this pisses me off so much. Just burn in hell you PIGS! F*CKEN GOD DAMN! This is unbelievable. They should all be nailed to crosses and burned alive after having their mouths stuffed with $100 bills. You want more? Choke on it and burn alive in pain then rot in the pits of hell you pigs.

Not surprising (5, Interesting)

seinman (463076) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420521)

I'm surprised it took them this long. I mean come on, there's a way for them to bilk the artist out of more of their earnings, and they didn't do it? That's not the recording industry I know!

Re:Not surprising (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420576)

Is this as bad a deal as it appears? Notice that the guy voluntarily signed - in order for him todo that, they had to offer something that he felt was worth signing. Maybe promotional things, perhaps transportation costs, etc.

Also, note that the record label gets a percentage of the artist's earnings. This is a complete reversal of the record model, where the label gets it all, and the artist gets a precentage.

I don't think the sky is falling.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420599)

why do anonymous cowards such as myself never get insanely obvious jokes? we must be a pretty stupid bunch... after all, we can't figure out how to make slashdot accounts.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420634)

I just have to up my karma for this IP address for good, drunk trolling this weekend.

Re:Not surprising (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420769)


alas, karma is not applied to an ip address. As an AC, about all we can do is damage a given IP. Still, keep up the good work brother troll, and drink some water before you go to bed so you're not too hung over in the morning.

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Re:Not surprising (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420817)

Is this as bad a deal as it appears? Notice that the guy voluntarily signed - in order for him todo that, they had to offer something that he felt was worth signing

How about "they offer the artist a chance to not have his career shot by reducing his radio air time, making sure they promote other artists better, or making him sign insane contracts ?" Is that worth signing for ? I doubt very much the record industry has genuinely something to offer that artists want to sign for. I'm even quite sure they don't even even have to say "or else" after saying "sign this" to an artist for the artist to comply.

In the '30s, there was a guy in Chicago who offered such "services" to local businesses.

Re:Not surprising (2, Informative)

Chancer (246051) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420638)

I mean come on, there's a way for them to bilk the artist out of more of their earnings, and they didn't do it? Robbie Williams signed an 80 million pound ($130,000,000) contract with EMI (bbc link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/267 3983.stm). For an artist who is virtually unknown in the US, that's enormous! I can only speculate that part of the contract included 'advances' on expected revenue from his tours... I know I'd rather have cash in hand than gamble on the vagaries of teeny pop tastes...

Re:Not surprising (2, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420788)

Note:

Robbie Williams is not unknown in the US. He has had several singles released, several music videos made, and many albums sold. We 'mericans just aren't fanatic about him like them european folk.

If this isn't the fourth post.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420524)

...I'll shave my ball sack with a cheese grater.

Re:If this isn't the fourth post.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420555)

It's the fifth.

They just now figured this out? (5, Interesting)

taped2thedesk (614051) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420526)

Umm... hello? They haven't done this already?

I thought a big part of the RIAA's argument is that the labels have to underwrite the promotion and some of the costs for the tours... If this is true, then shouldn't they have already been taking a cut from the tour profits? Maybe I'm wrong here. I'd check out the RIAA's site, but it appears to be down...

Re:They just now figured this out? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420549)

It's always down! Don't piss off the h4x0rs!

Re:They just now figured this out? (5, Interesting)

mjmalone (677326) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420587)

I thought a big part of the RIAA's argument is that the labels have to underwrite the promotion and some of the costs for the tours...

From what I have read this is not true. Most record contracts state that all/most costs related to marketing and distribution will be recouped from the artists cut of the CD sales, not the record companie's. Of course this means if the record doesn't sell well the record company doesn't get all that money back through the artist's cut... But it also means the artist will get nearly nothing.

I wrote a paper for school [vt.edu] on how I morally justify downloading mp3s which outlines the way most record contracts work.

Re:They just now figured this out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420759)

That was a piece of ART work and you get a big A

Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420532)

"Greedier and greedier", though Alice.

Re:Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420556)

'though' = thought

Re:Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420799)


"Alice" = some little cunt I'd like to bend over and give a good fucking too in that cute little skirt, the filthy whore.

Who cares? (2, Insightful)

SamBeckett (96685) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420538)

No one is forcing the artists to sign a contract with record label X-- if they dont like the terms, find another record label who has terms you agree with. If none exist, well you are up the river without a paddle, but Juicy cranberries grandma!

Word up! (1)

Lysol (11150) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420568)

I too grow tired of the bands that keep whining about everything. Put up or shut up! Esp. for the Madonna, Metallica and Radiohead types.

Your time is almost... up.

Re:Who cares? (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420604)

IIRC, Sam, there are some musicians who have their own labels. Madonna comes to mind here.

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420754)

No one is forcing the artists to sign a contract with record label X-- if they dont like the terms, find another record label who has terms you agree with.

My understanding is that what the labels often tend to do is sign a 'quick' pre-contract agreement that pretty much locks up the musicians, then starve them into signing.

Quick, nasty and effective. The trick for the musician is to actually pay attention before signing such 'quick and harmless' agreement in principles -- but the young and eager are often blinded by apparent opportunity.

Re:Who cares? (5, Insightful)

barc0001 (173002) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420761)

Wow. That's good.

Did it ever occur to you that most bands starting out have less ability to dictate terms to a record label than people who are getting their first mortgage have with the bank? It works like this:

(label rep) : Here's our terms. Sign right there and we'll bring you onboard.
(band) : Hang on, we are a little unsure about this point here. Can we alter it?
(label rep) : Truth be told, I came to town to cut a deal with a band. If you don't like these terms, there are 3 other bands I'm talking to that I'd be just as pleased to go with.

At this point, the band either signs a draconian contract agreeing to give away God knows what, or the A&R rep walks and does business with someone else and the first band continues to play at dingy nightclubs ad nauseum. Fair? No. Life? Yes.

More here [arancidamoeba.com] on exactly how that works and how bad the band is screwed.

wtf (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420539)

How are the artists expected to make any money at all? This is outrageous. So now when we "do the right thing" by boycotting the RIAA and their overpriced CDs and really support our favourite bands by going to their concerts, even that might not be enough? How is the typical artist supposed to make a living? I have a feeling all of this will come back to haunt the labels eventually. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Re:wtf (1)

dbretton (242493) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420651)

Oh God! How will they survive?

The poor artists may have to work hard all year long making an album and touring, all for... *gasp* a paltry $5 million dollars earnings.

Oh the humanity!

Re:wtf (1)

son_of_asdf (598521) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420771)

Most touring artists are lucky if they can afford three square meals a day, and even the kids that have major label contracts and tour support are lucky to come back home after a year on the road with more than a thousand bucks in thier pocket at best to show for it.

Makes sense... (2, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420540)

A lot of times, the label is putting a fair chunk of change into promoting the tour, booking the appropriate venues, and getting things done in general. I could see a decent tour costing the same as producing a CD, if not more when they go multinational.

I don't think it's wholly inappropriate. I know we're paying more for CDs than we probably should, but the one has nothing to do with the other.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

weave (48069) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420573)

That's weird, I thought that was Budweisers job (or some other unrelated company I see attaching their names to some tours...)

Re:Makes sense... (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420591)

actually it's the local promoters who foot the bill and pay the artists to preform at their events.. just cause they're on "tour" doesn't mean they're making it up.. they get booked by promoters and play in a given city then off to the next promoter's city.. where does the label come into the picture?

What a crock (5, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420614)

A lot of times, the label is putting a fair chunk of change into promoting the tour, booking the appropriate venues, and getting things done in general. I could see a decent tour costing the same as producing a CD, if not more when they go multinational.

Um, no.

The record label is putting a great deal of the Band's future earnings into promoting the band, mostly in promoting their CD sales, of which the band will receive $0.25-$0.50 per copy. Any promotion of the band, be it their CDs (the bulk of the promotion) or their tour is all charged to the band. In the end the recording companies, while taking the Lion's share of the CD profits (and now, soon, the touring profits as well), pays absolutely squat for promotion.

Hopefully this new development will encourage more bands to avoid the clutches of the recording industry and market direct, or use non-traditional channels such as mp3.com once was to reach their audiences. With luck this final act of hubris will be enough to kill those parisites dead, something that would be very good for artists and fans alike.

This is all the .mp3 pirates' fault. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420542)

If pirates had just bought the damn CDs instead of illegally downloading them, the record companies wouldn't have to do this. You caused this.

Re:This is all the .mp3 pirates' fault. (4, Insightful)

mjmalone (677326) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420617)

True... Partly... the problem is the record companies see that they are no longer needed. Their main function was to act as a source of loans and to distribute music. Recording music is no longer expensive, and distribution can be done over the internet. Who needs record companies anymore?

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420665)

nt

Re:This is all the .mp3 pirates' fault. (1)

geekmetal (682313) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420667)

If pirates had just bought the damn CDs instead of illegally downloading them, the record companies wouldn't have to do this. You caused this.

And if the record labels had kept the CD prices down, not as many people would have pirated the mp3s.

The corporations want more than the worth of the products they are selling and consumers will take what can get for free, but somewhere there is an amicable balance.

I guess with respect to the music industry this balance was disturbed by the exhorbitant prices of the CDs and we are currently oscillating around the balancing point.

Re:This is all the .mp3 pirates' fault. (1)

David Hume (200499) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420752)


If pirates had just bought the damn CDs instead of illegally downloading them, the record companies wouldn't have to do this. You caused this.


I wasn't going to say this... but I was going to raise the same issue. :)

Seriously, I think the problem for many who get all of their music free from the net and haven't paid for recorded music in years (some of whom take great pride in that fact) is as follows. While you say that you don't want to punish the artists (and I believe you), and you hate and want to punish the greedy, monopolistic, dictatorial, idiotic, Britney Spears foisting record companies, it is simply NOT POSSIBLE to screw the record companies without screwing the artists. Given the gross disparity of power between all but the most succesful artists and record companies, it is *always* the artists who are going to get screwed. Efforts to screw the record companies are akin to an economic drive by with artistic children wandering around the kill zone. It is always the (relatively) innocent who get hurt.

I guess artists can always just give up on the idea of making big bucks off of selling recorded music, and simply tour for a living.

p.s. Given the topic, I don't feel bad saying that a good friend of mine is in the band Drinkers Purgatory (see url above and sig below), and could use your support. :) In this case, "support" simply means checking out their (free) MP3s.

No it isn't (2, Insightful)

daveo0331 (469843) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420802)

The goal of a corporation is to make as much money as possible for the shareholders. If the record labels think they can make more money by going after the touring revenues, they'll do it, regardless of what is happening on the CD side of the business.

This would be like saying Major League Baseball is charging more for TV rights because ticket sales are down. Believe me, if MLB thinks they can milk more money out of the TV networks, they'll do it no matter how many people go to the games.

Re:This is all the .mp3 pirates' fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420803)

If the artists all band together and threaten to allow their songs to be shared, that would keep the labels off their nuts.

--deez

In realted news.. (5, Funny)

Valiss (463641) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420546)

....the record labels are now requiring musicians to give up their first born in order to breed a new race of pop stars.

artificial scarcity versus real scarcity (5, Interesting)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420547)

Ok, to the animals who don't get the "theft" thing, a concert has real scarcity. If I copy your ticket, both our asses can't sit down in that seat. A recording has only artificial scarcity. Copying your cd has no effect on you. So this is a good thing. Let them act as promoters.

Re:artificial scarcity versus real scarcity (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420656)

Are people really this stupid, or do they practice it?

You're not stealing from the guy whose CD you copied. You're stealing from the seller of the CD, who now has lost their opportunity to sell you a second copy of that CD. There are two instances of their product out there, yet they were only paid for one. They've been illegally deprived of the money from the second sale. Outside of law school and its terminological hair-splitting, it's not unreasonable to casually call that situation "theft"; the net result is no different than if the vendor had been paid for two CDs, and someone broke into the till and took the payment for one of them back.

Outside of Star Trek, you can't just copy a widget when you want one, so the widget-maker won't lose that second sale. But intellectual property laws exist precisely because information is easy to copy. Scarcity isn't the issue; securing a return on creative effort is.

Re:artificial scarcity versus real scarcity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420669)

If I copy your ticket, both our asses can't sit down in that seat.

We can try...

Re:artificial scarcity versus real scarcity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420806)

both our asses can't sit down in that seat
Why don't you just sit on my lap and we'll talk about the first thing that "pops" up?

If SNL was new this week: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420551)

* After above story is told during SNL Weekend Update *

And in other news: Robbie Williams is a dumbass.

Hamiltonian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420558)

Let the record companies find a polynomial time solution to the Hamiltonian tour.

If they can do that, by all means give them a cut of the optimal tour revenues.

who needs record labels? (3, Insightful)

Pompatus (642396) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420560)

At this rate musicians won't even worry about getting signed to a label. A couple friends of mine do quite well playing local gigs. Of course, here in New Orleans, live music is plentiful.

Don't get me wrong, this wont happen anytime soon. I wonder, though, what the threshold is before it pays to stay home and play in your local club.

I thought... (1)

ryanr (30917) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420571)

Don't the labels get a fee whenever a song is performed? (Some of which might be back to the writer, if the label feels like it...) Wouldn't that include the artist performing their own song?

I guess the new part is wanting a percentage of merchansing? Oh, and the article says sponsorship, too. Ouch. You mean you can't even sell out to Pepsi without losing a cut, now?

Re:I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420589)

I dont think it applies to live performaces

Re:I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420609)

Record companies already do this and have done this for years. It is a normal, recoverable cost.

Also, the fee for whenever a song is performed is normal as well. There are two royalties on the recording, one is the mechanical recording. That is the one that the musician made. Secondly is the song writers rights, they will get paid EVERY SINGLE TIME. Don't try to make the RIAA et al out to be worse than they are. Most people here have no idea how a record contract works.

Re:I thought... (1)

ryanr (30917) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420685)

Don't try to make the RIAA et al out to be worse than they are.

I don't think I could if I tried. :)

I think a lot more people have an idea how a record contract works now, because of what the RIAA has been up to.

And yes, I'm aware there's a fee when a song is performed... which is why I said that in the post you replied to. That's actually an interesting allowance in the otherwise draconian music copyright laws... I believe the law permits me to perform any song I want, as long as I pay my fee, yes?

Anyone know if the RIAA still gets their cut when you're performing your own song?

Musicians should do what movie studios do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420572)



Give the labels a cut of the profits, not a cut of the revenue.

Then the musicians can cook the books the way movie studios do, and never have to make any payouts to the labels.

Was Robbie forced to sign the contract? (3, Insightful)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420575)

He was paid $20 million up front for the stake in his non-music revenues.

Record companies are not the nicest people, but the spin on this submission is that they are somehow robbing the artists.

There are enough things to berate the music industry over without having to fabricate injustice that isn't there.

Re:Was Robbie forced to sign the contract? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420618)

What's fabricated? The article doesn't fell sorry for robbie williams... you should stop fabricating points that aren't there are enough errors in slashdot stories to berate the authors without fabricating them

Re:Was Robbie forced to sign the contract? (2)

scalis (594038) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420662)

He was paid $20 million up front for the stake in his non-music revenues.
Record companies are not the nicest people, but the spin on this submission is that they are somehow robbing the artists.


I remember Robbie screaming "I am filthy rich" at a press conference I saw on TV after signing this deal. Althouh I seem to remember Maria Carey that got paid to NOT make music. I wonder wich concert I have to visit to sponor that deal?

I was just waiting for someone to post this exact comment about Robbie getting his share so I could mod him up.
Oh no! I posted instead and now I cant mod! Bummer :\

Re:Was Robbie forced to sign the contract? (2, Insightful)

ryanr (30917) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420728)

Robbie isn't the problem. The problem is struggling artists, and mking it "normal" for the record companies to take one more source of revenue from them.

No, no one is forcing the artists to sign a contract, but they really have little choice if they want to be professional musicians at this point.

This is what we've been suggesting they do. (3, Informative)

Valar (167606) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420577)

This is what many slashdot users have been suggesting they do, so I don't understand the negative attitude all of the sudden. Remember the "they're going to have to change their business model" speech everyone was giving a couple of years ago? This is that change. Mind you, in typical record label fashion, they aren't going to mark down CDs any or ease off of the filetrading litigation, because that would still cost them *something*. That is the part everyone should criticize, that there is no quid pro quoa (spl?). Sure, they don't have to give their customers something in exchange no the markup on ticket prices we will no doubt see, but it might hurt them in the long run if they don't...

Alice in Capitalist Land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420580)

"Greedier and greedier", thought Alice.

Oh, great. (4, Funny)

Patik (584959) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420581)

Now how am I supposed to actually support an artist I like? Just mail them a check?

Re:Oh, great. (3, Insightful)

whig (6869) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420703)

This is not such a bad idea.

More artists should put up a website with a button that lets people contribute to them by the method of their choice, using PayPal (ugh) or whatever.

Even if it's just a buck or two, think of it like a tip jar. You want your favorite artists to be supported, so support them.

Pick artists who aren't stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420744)

They're the ones who won't sign these contracts. The ones who do, well, fuck 'em, they're probably wannabe virgin Britney types anyway.

Re:Oh, great. (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420766)

Or you could mail them a business proposal, explaining to them that they can market and distribute their work using this new-fangled invention called "The Internet", get up-front money (if it's really necessary -- try to talk 'em out of it) from a "Bank". If they don't want to deal with all those details (here's your pitch), Patik will do it for them, for a far smaller piece of the action than a traditional record label would.

Total music revenue almost unchanged... (4, Informative)

ponxx (193567) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420583)

I found this interesting from the article:

> While music sales have dropped for three years in a row, from $13 billion to $11.5 billion in
>2002, hurt by Napster-style digital piracy and a lackluster flow of hot new acts, the tour
>business has climbed for four years straight, from $1.3 billion in 1998 to $2.1 billion last year

So in total, money spent on music has gone down from 14.3 to 13.6 billion. A small change in a time of economic uncertainty. I imagine people will always spend a similar amount of money for entertainment, just the patterns of expenditure change. Ripping an MP3 off the net will never compare to a live performance.

Similarly, movie studios don't have to worry. Seeing a decent movie on DivX makes me want to go to the cinema for the proper experience. LOTR, Matrix, ... just have to be seen on a big screen.

Anyway, the studios should make money where the consumer wants to spend it, and stop whinging when their lack of innovation stops them from earning.

Ponxx

Turn this around (2, Interesting)

rossz (67331) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420584)

Anything they can pass of as "promotions" is charged to the artists' potentional royalty payments. Oddly enough, this usually eats up ALL royalties due.

The artists should start counting every single expense of a tour as promoting the album and demand credit for it.

Isn't this the greedy musicians' fault? (4, Interesting)

raehl (609729) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420588)

If you're willing to sign away your profits in the future for that fat advance now, the only one to blame is you. On the other hand, maybe the only way to get anyone to listen to your crappy music is to get a major label to spend millions promoting it, in which case giving a percentage of the tour revenues you wouldn't be making without selling your soul to the record company is a good deal anyway.

Remember, we don't have Britteny Spears because she is a musician. We have Brittany Spears because a record company invested millions of dollars in creating her. It's only fair that they get a cut of the tour revenues she never would have had at all without their promotion.

In modern society, there is no reason to make a deal with the devil for fame and fortune - just call up EMI.

Re:Isn't this the greedy musicians' fault? (1)

davidc (91400) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420779)

We have Brittany Spears because a record company invested millions of dollars in creating her

Ha! I knew it. I always suspected she was a clone :-)

And Why Not? (2, Interesting)

dbretton (242493) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420590)

These days, with very few exceptions, the biggest stars are all manufactured by the record labels anyway. The labels engineered many of these pop , or perhaps 'puppet', sensations that so many people go 'ga-ga' over.

Perhaps the better question is: why have some of these engineered musical groups earned so much, when their popularity and following is almost entirely due to the label's efforts?

"But, why me?"
"Because you fit the suit."
-The Brady Bunch, "Johnny Bravo"

In a related step, record labels have begun to ... (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420606)

require that all newly signed artists "provide" at least one healthy kidney (preferably but not necessarily their own) for sale to cover initial expenses, fees, lawyers, etc. Liver sections and spleens are ususally needed for video production. Hair cuttings cover per diems.

The Labels Desperately Need Money... (0)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420616)

If they're resorting to these measures.

I can't remember which two, but two of the big five are on their way out.

You figured they ripped off the artists enough when they take the majority of the money for their CD sales. Cassettes cost more to make, yet are so much cheaper than CD. There's no reason why CD's should be so pricey. Yes there are stores like circuit city out there that sell CD's for a Pheaper Price now, but that's only a handful of stores.

Any artist who agrees to signing over a portion of their revenue from touring is an idiot. Then again they were stupid enough to sign that nice big label contract in the first place.

Perhaps more of these artists will wise up and just leave (I realize it's not always that easy). Some of these artists are good enough to make it on their own.

Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 55 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420626)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 55 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420643)

What's going to happen when Stephen King really does die?

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 55 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420686)

I will piss on his grave.

Got me (1)

Teahouse (267087) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420765)

Nice job, I swallowed this hook, line, and sinker for about 3 minutes. I was getting pissed because I have been waiting for him to finish that damned Dark Tower series for the last 20 years! It's about the only good thing he has ever penned.

Huh? (0)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420627)

"In October EMI signed a deal with Brit singer Robbie Williams that gives the label a cut of the pop star's merchandise, publishing, touring revenue and sponsorship."

Robbie Williams? ROBBIE WILLIAMS? How in the world is EMI going to afford the 16 euro's for this deal??

Omg, I'm giong to Kazaa! Support the artists!

You know what they say... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420632)

You make a deal with The Devil...

I don't see this as wholly horrible. I mean, you aren't forced to sign that contract now are you? You can always do everything yourself, no contract required.

Jay's Opinion: (2, Funny)

dbretton (242493) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420633)

Fuck the La-bels
Fuck, fuck fuck
Fuck the La-bels

for all you Jay & Silent Bob fans.

Independant (3, Interesting)

jonman_d (465049) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420641)

People, the answer is simple! VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR! CD-Baby.com [cdbaby.com] has a load of GOOD music, and not a dime of your money goes to the RIAA.

This is the ONLY way that the RIAA will understand that we're not going to take their shit anymore.

Labels been getting cuts for a long time... (2, Informative)

JDRipper (610930) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420645)

This is not news. Labels have been digging their claws into concert revenue for years. When I was with the first Warped Tour, Sony was taking a 20% (if I remember accurately) cut from all Merch sales which dramatically reduced the artist's share since they didn't want to raise T-shirt prices for the fans. When you add a Bill Graham (west coast promoter) fee of 35% on top of this at the former Concord Pavilion, it was enough to cause all the performers (except Sublime) to pull all their merch from the booths for that show. Fans end up paying regardless.

Now wha are we supposed to do? (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420647)

Before we were supposed to not buy CDs and support artist we like by going to their shows and buying their merch, but now the industry gets a cut of that too. Might as well just download the songs from p2p and send the band a check for $.30 cents or whatever they get per cd.

Wrong, wrong, wrong (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420657)

Once upon a time, publishing was expensive and risky. Printing the manuscript of sheet music, or cutting the master for a record (old-style) and stamping a few thousand cost money. If they didn't sell, the entrepreneur who paid forthem lost money. So he was justified in taking a goodly slice when it came good.

But publishing audio is now cheap and low risk. So it doesn't justify extortionate profits.

But the artist had to work just as hard - or not - as s/he ever did. And deserves the rewards just as much as ever. So the rewards of touring should go back to the artist.

Of course, some of the rewards of touring are not due solely to the artist. Mr Dibbler and friends will no doubt have paid a bit to printthe T-shirts, posters etc. and are entitled to some share of the cut. But it is by no means obvious that these are the same people who arrange the creation and shipping of CDs.

Artists need to relaim their products from the publishers. Once upon a time, the publishers earned their retirn. No more. But it takes organisation - the first artist to try it will be dropped. But the big labels are no longer, in the ager of net publishing, contributing to the glory of music -and don't deserve the profits they got in the past.

but labels (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6420659)

record labels PACK YOUR FUDGE

Standard practice (4, Interesting)

ajs (35943) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420670)

I believe you'll find that this is the norm for all of the "manufactured bands" and "pop idols" that the industry created from scratch. Only the real artists get their own touring revenues, and the writing has been on the wall for them since the labels discovered that they could manufacture bands in just about any popular genre, not just bubblegum.

Personally, I think it's a good thing.

One of the reasons that artists are skeptical of online distribution of their music is the fact that it has the precise effect of making record lables think of those songs as valueless (which they are) and instead focus on tangible things that people will pay for (e.g. a concert with merchandise).

Once artists and labels get used to this arrangement, though, there's no reason that the indy labels can't do the same, and then distributing the music cheap (or even for free) and making their money on the concerts too.

A "label" in the Internet age should be... what? My feeling is that it should be a clearinghouse... a packager if you will that records/collects the band's or artist's music, sees to its quality of recording, adds lots of indexable info and then gets it to all of the online distributors (iStore, mp3.com, etc) that will "retail it". Heck, they could just run a Gnutella farm with a web-site full of reviews and other "value added" indexing, and a client-side plugin for downloading. Boom, instant high-bandwidth music distribution, and as long as the client has some basic incremental checksum system so that it can verify it's getting the exact file that you selected, you can be sure you're downloading what you wanted. That adds ad revenue to the label's list of sources.

The margins on all of that are small to negative, but if they have an alternate source of income, then they can afford to do it, and there's really no reason that foobar label can't compete with EMI on equal footing.

And you wondered why the RIAA was deathly afraid of file sharing... it's not because they thought their members would lose money, but because they KNEW that it had to lead to a decision about the value of music that they didn't want to have to make, and ultimately killing this goose once and for all!

Greedheads (2, Interesting)

joshsnow (551754) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420688)

Well, labels, who claim to promote and thus 'make' and artist, are simply greedy for more action.

Regarding Williams (a "pop star" I have no time for) EMI are taking a cut of his tours, merchandising etc but they've paid him, or are contracted to pay him, several millions of pounds over the next few years. When the deal was announced, Williams said, "I'm rich beyond my wildest dreams!"

He'd better not speak so quickly. Mariah Carey was rich too, until Sony dropped her.

Interestingly, Williams takes the attitude that Filesharing is a Good Thing. He actively encourages his fans to download his music.

An attitude shared by Snoop Dogg, Chuck D and Courtney Love. Shame Britney Spears doesn't know what time it is yet...

Hilary Rosen is quoed as saying (4, Funny)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420705)

"Bitch betta have muh money" while wearing a big hat with a feather in it

as if artists made money on record sales anyway (2, Insightful)

son_of_asdf (598521) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420717)

This is more foolishness from an industry already rife with fools. 99% of the marjor label artists out there already make nothing off of thier record sales to begin with-even artists that have sold half a million albums generally haven't seen a penny's woth of royalties, via a process called recoupment. Recoupment means that the artist has to make back the money out of thier own royalites that the record label puts up for startup costs, which is everything from the recording sessions, new instruments, new clothes, makeovers, tour support (which is often very little), and various other costs of production. When you consider that a very fortunate artist who has a good lawyer might make 8 cents on the dollar when a CD is sold, you can see that it takes a LOT of record sales for a band to recoup. Meanwhile, the record company is getting the other 92 cents for every dollar, and is still sticking the band with the tab for EVERYTHING, which has to be paid out of that measly 8% or less. Labels rarely provide more than nominal tour support, particularly to thier 2nd tier artists (read as anyone who hasn't gone platinum.) The artist is expected to cover most tour costs via ticket sales and mechandising. To come to the point, for the labels to go dipping thier fingers into the only viable revenue stream that most artists have is only taking the highway robbery that they are committing already and taking it to the next level. Not that we should expect any better, since the majors have behaved like scum for decades, and are not likely to change anytime soon. Just my .02 dollars worth

Music without multinat'l corp. profit is THEFT! (1)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420723)

I have an idea. Pass a worldwide law that enslaves all musicians. They shall have no rights. They shall have no food. They shall be beaten and tortured on a regular basis.

Of course, that's all being done behind the scenes. In public, they would be required to perform and make billions in revenue, all of which would, of course, go to the record labels. The musicians themselves would never see any profit of any kind from their work. But if it's not good, they'll be tortured. If it doesn't bring in a quota of a specified number of millions by a certain deadline, they would be tortured. If they don't perform to record label standards, they would be tortured.

Of course, all music and/or any form of audible sound, now known or later developed, which is considered music by any record label, would be illegal unless the person composing and/or performing the sounds is a slave of a record label and working under their authorization. Punishable by a fine required to exceed one billion dollars and prison terms of at least 50 years per offense.

This wouldn't even be a felony. They'd have to make up a legal term for a crime worse even than 1st degree murder, because that is what theft from a multinational corporation essentially boils down to, and if you dare to make a sound, listen to music, or even fart without the record labels making an enormous profit on you at your expense, than theft is what you have essentially done. Shame on you. You are unfair competition because your making an audible sound may undermine their ability to make the profits that to which they are rightfully entitled by virtue of being a multinational corporation in a position of power.

For your convenience, laws like this will eventually be passed for other types of businesses, such as the food mass-production industry (growing and/or cooking your own food constitutes THEFT from the multinational food conglomerates).

Don't like it? (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420724)

Don't sign it. Obviously these big stars arn't going to sign over any more rights to the record companies that they don't think they need or whatever.

But it would be too bad to see some young bands sign this without knowing what it means, though.

Grateful Dead (5, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420737)


There was just now a segment on ABC World News [go.com] about The [Grateful] Dead's new model for making money off music. They record their shows every night, take orders from fans at the show, have their audio man master it, ship it off for duplication on CDs, and have it in the mail to the fan within about three days.

Instead of the $1/album typically made by signed bands they make $8-$10 on the three-CD set that sells for $22. They've turned a quarter of a million dollars on the CDs from their performances at Red Rocks over the past couple of weeks.

Not mentioned at the link, but Peter Jennings added that the music companies don't like being cut out of the loop like that.

sweet (2, Funny)

August_zero (654282) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420743)

This is great news. Snot nosed little musicians owe all of their success to the selfless sacrifices made by the RIAA. All rock stars do is get drug habits, destroy hotel rooms, and go on "Behind the Music" after their careers are finished.

Seriously though, wtf? i could sort of understand in the same way that I understand that evil mad scientists want to destroy the world sort of way, if there was any actual money in the process.

All this is going to do is lead to pirated concerts. Bands will be kidnapped and forced to perform for free by angry fans.

Why sign to a label? (3, Insightful)

nerdup (523587) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420750)

The most revealing part of the article to me was this:
EMI officials say they are pursuing similar deals with other musicians, both superstars and new acts.
Maybe Celine Dion can afford to have part of her touring revnue taken away, but what about smaller acts who likely walk onto the stage already owing the record company hundreds of thousands of dollars? So now the record companies want to start shaving money off the only place the musicians earn a living? Seriously, how will anyone be able to afford to be a musician?

Phish (1)

wuchang (524603) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420789)

This means more acts will opt to follow the model Phish used to become popular. They created a following not from a successful studio album, but by years of playing venues and building grassroot support. Imagine talented acts chosen by the people instead of the crap being driven down our throats today.

This is good (1)

0000 0111 (141160) | more than 10 years ago | (#6420807)

Most musicians have poor business sense, that's not how they see their profession. They think they are musicians, and they are correct in thinking this way. As it is, because of that attitude, they gravitate towards thinking only in terms of their only proprietary source of income -touring. In effect this natural shift in focus is away from the complexities of "the contract" and towards what they control. This is completely understandable and works well in practice. I just talked to a great friend of mine yesterday and he just got off a four show tour and wound up pulling in close to ten grand for the band. That's excellent cash for them but it's also interesting to note that they were just recently dropped from their label. Huh? That's right, bands don't need labels to make money, they need labels for large scale promotion and distribution. Bands can and do make good money while touring but unfortunately touring can also be very expensive at times and that's one of the areas where the label comes in to help. Anyway, I could go on for a long time about what's really up with all this crap and what certain labels do and don't do, but I'll get back to the point. Record labels wanting a piece of the road action is good. It's good because they're going to get into a heap of shit if they do. The reason I say that is because it won't give the musicians anywhere else to run (the road revenues) and then they'll be forced into understanding more clearly what they need to learn on the business side of things. This, I think, will ultimately be good for both sides. Well, maybe... There's also the issue of that advance. Cutting into the road revenues could also drive musicians into being nothing more than contractors which is already a pretty close call. Gosh, there's so much to this but it looks like we're about to find out.
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