Friday, April 15, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Law

Music Law & the 360 Deal

Like so many other industries these days, the music business is vastly different than it once was.  Gone are the days when tangibles were of key importance and switching tapes and CDs in the car was a Red Light Routine.  Now, the music industry is heavily viral, virtual, and digital.

Not only are we less dependent on tangibles, but the dealings for musicians are so different, too.  In the past, artists had separate contracts for their music, publishing, and all things branding.  They would have an attorney for contracts, a CPA for money dealings, and a business manager/promoter for scheduling performances --some still have all 3.  Today, the 360-Deal is on the scene.  360s are deals encompassing all parts of an artist's business, without the individual contracts for brand merchandising and the like.  Many companies, most prominently Live Nation, are taking on artists and doing everything from their record deals, to concert promotion, merchandising, and overall marketing.  What does B.M.M.O. Consulting think about this one!?

These deals are easy for artists and artist management, but can be a hassle for the label offering them.  It is difficult to not only manage the artistic piece, but the legal and financial pieces as well.  Traditionally, all of these pieces are separate.  Legalities can get sticky with these deals, too, especially when contracting and product ownership matters come up.  Musicians are very particular about their work, so sharing or even compromising it can be a struggle.  It's definitely true for bloggers. 

The key to the right deal, traditional or 360 is what the artist is looking for:
  • Do you want a 1-stop shop?
  • If you have separate contracts, can they all exist together?
  • Can your label really handle all parts of your business?
  • How does the deal benefit your brand?
  • Who owns your brand?  You, or the label?  
    • This includes your copyrights for publishing and trademarks for any logos and names.
Of course there is much more to think about and finding the right deal is essential.  Keep these few ideas in mind, and definitely seek expert advice when the time comes.  We have it here if you need it!

1 comment:

  1. It's great when all business needs can be handled in one location, unfortunately many times companies are not equipped to handle all aspects of business and do it well. I like the idea of keeping it simple and having all business handled in one place, A company should know what they're best at and do that. Stack a team who is great in the other areas and you're on the road to success!


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