Last week, beloved musical humorist “Weird Al” Yankovic dropped his new album Mandatory Fun. Propelled by a set of eight viral videos, it quickly rose to the top spot on the Billboard charts, his first ever #1, with over 104,000 album sales. Al recently told the New York Times, “I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, I’m on the bleeding edge of marketing, this is going to be a business model that will change the world.” But as a longtime (possibly obssessive?) fan of Al, I’d suggest there’s still a few things we can learn from him. read more
Last month, singer-songwriter James Taylor joined the long line of legacy acts that have sued their former record labels for withholding royalty payments, among other financial oversights. According to a 2007 audit, Warner Bros. Records underpaid Taylor by nearly $1,700,000 between the years of 2004 and 2007.
This kind of financial dispute is hardly new. The Temptations and Sister Sledge filed similar complaints (against Warner and Universal Music Group, respectively) earlier this year. The debate about whether artists should receive compensation as a “sale” or “license” for digital downloads has also garnered attention as a result of Eminem’s audit of his former label, Aftermath Records, wherein he argued that he should have been paid his licensing royalty rate of 50 percent — instead of his sales royalty rate of 12 percent — for digital downloads in the early days of iTunes.
An interview with Government Relations Director Michael Bracy
Wednesday, July 12, 2000
Michael Bracy is a partner with the government relations firm Bracy Tucker Brown and Valanzano. He is also Executive Director of the Low Power Radio Coalition and a partner in the independent record label Misra. Now Michael puts on a third hat as he steps into the position of Government Relations Director of the Future of Music Coalition. In this interview, Michael explains the role of a lobbyist, and his 12-month plan for the Coalition’s efforts. read more
Slim Moon from Kill Rock Stars on Websites, Digital Distribution and the DIY Ethic
Tuesday, December 28, 1999
“Kill Rock Stars is…firmly committed to punk rock and “independence,” both financial and aesthetical. Most importantly, we are committed to putting out records that are meaningful and not just nice pleasant noises to listen to while you wash your dishes. People who make music just to try to get famous or rich are dumb and the people who put out records for those same reasons are pretty silly too. Good rock and roll is a conspiracy, not just something nice made by crafty businessmen that matches the couch.” read more