November 11, 2007

The 360 Deal [7:22 pm]

The New Deal: Band as Brand

Though its success is in large part due to smart pop songwriting and a fashion-forward frontwoman, music executives and talent managers also cite Paramore as a promising example of a rising new model for developing talent, one in which artists share not just revenue from their album sales but concert, merchandise and other earnings with their label in exchange for more comprehensive career support.

If the concept takes hold, it will alter not only the way music companies make money but the way new talent is groomed, and perhaps even the kind of acts that are offered contracts in the first place.

Commonly known as “multiple rights” or “360” deals, the new pacts emerged in an early iteration with the deal that Robbie Williams, the British pop singer signed with EMI in 2002. They are now used by all the major record labels and even a few independents. Madonna has been the most prominent artist to sign on (her recent $120 million deal with the concert promoter Live Nation allows it to share in her future earnings), but the majority of these new deals are made with unknown acts.

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