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Looking at the Positive Side of a 360 Deal

June 24, 2008

Jay-Z Live Nation 360 Deal

By now, those who know what’s going on in the industry know all about 360 deals. The deal where the label gets a piece of the pie from every (or many) revenue streams an artist makes. Some artists and managers are angered since the Majors have built a reputation for making most of the money from record sales and “screwing” artists.

This is understandable, but ask yourself this: Why are you pursuing a major record label deal in today’s world?

You probably want them to help push you forward and take your career to new heights, right?

Now think about this: Are they going to spend a lot of energy. time, and money when their main source of money is being continually eroded? Probably not, unless you have a large dedicated fan base that may actually buy your album (not just torrent it).

Are they going to put effort into promoting you if there are more opportunities to make money (not lose money) with you and your music? Probably

Anyways, the point of this blog post is to outline the positive aspect of a 360 deal.

1. Incentive to Think Long-Term

When there are shareholders to please, quarterly growth is a strong focus. If a label could make more money selling a Britney Spears (in a short amount of time) clone versus another Ben Harper (long-term career artist), it obviously would. It would help keep that CEO’s job for awhile longer and make the board meeting a lot more pleasant.

If they are making money from merch and ticket sales, they can make up for the loss in record sales. The label will less likely drop the next Bruce Springsteen after his first album bombs, if the live show sales, merch sales, and publishing deals pick up.

2. Capital and People Power

The artist and manager may not have the skills, people power, connections, and/or money to really make all the revenue opportunities work at full capacity. Working with the label could bring in more money for the artist if everyone is working together

Having all you eggs in one basket is not a decision you want to take lightly so it’s best to really think about what you’re willing to live with and consult an Entertainment Lawyer. You should be able to trust who you’re working with.

Make Great Music,


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