Megamillion-dollar label deals are a thing of the past. But with Usher, Timberlake and Swift nearing the end of their contracts, this is how majors will have to fight to keep them.
Taylor Swift, Usher and Justin Timberlake are about to enter an all-too-familiar crossroads for pop superstars: Their next albums will also be the last ones due to their respective major labels (Big Machine/Universal for Swift, RCA for Timberlake and Usher).
But unlike the mega-stars of yore, today’s top acts face a different marketplace in which they’re required to work much harder for their hefty advances — with lower sales to show for it. In fact, you would have to go all the way back to 2001 to a find a nine-figure commitment, when Whitney Houston re-upped with Arista for a multi-album deal worth $100 million. Britney Spears recently renewed her deal with RCA for an undisclosed sum, sources tell Billboard. But when Timberlake, Swift and Usher head to the table, what can they expect?
“The trend is definitely toward shorter [term] deals on both sides,” says Donald Passman, an entertainment lawyer at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown who negotiated Janet Jackson’s $80 million EMI contract in the 1990s and authored the book series All You Need to Know About the Music Business. “The industry is in distress and digital is not picking up the slack, so the big companies are worried about long-term commitments, and the artists tend to take longer between product. Unless you’re Taylor Swift, very few can command a top-of-the-market deal.” Sony Music chief creative officer Clive Davis concurs: “There will be a fair and hard negotiation to re-sign her,” he says.
Today, the high end of a recording contract is a $7 million-plus advance per album, but it’s rare that an artist secures that large a payout without giving up a piece of his or her ancillary income. Indeed, 360 deals are now the norm among newer acts — One Direction, Ed Sheeran and 5 Seconds of Summer all have revenue-sharing agreements with their labels on touring, merch and other back-end fees. So are such hefty upfront payments a thing of the past?
“Each case is different,” offers Kenny Meiselas, a senior partner at Grubman Shire & Meiselas, who represents Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga. “When you have an artist at the peak of their career, I’ve never seen a record company not be open to renegotiating and treating their artist fairly.” Meiselas would know: He just renegotiated Mary J. Blige’s contract with Universal Music Group, moving her from Interscope to Capitol for her anticipated London Sessions album (see story, page 40) in what one source describes as a “very lucrative” deal. Says Meiselas with a smirk: “We figured it out.”
One thing certain about the new contracts is that “marquee artists will own their own masters,” says manager Jim Guerinot, who represented Nine Inch Nails for decades. “When Nine Inch Nails did their deal, they signed for a high royalty with a low advance and they own the master. Artists make most of their money on the road anyway.”
Indeed, adds Joel Katz, chairman of global entertainment and media practice for Greenberg Traurig, who reps Timberlake among other music clients: “Artists will not only want to reserve as many rights as they can, they will also want to retain ownership of their new albums.”
That’s if they choose to stick with a label, rather than taking the DIY route, as acts like Wilco and Prince have done with varying degrees of success. A major facing a defection can offer one more carrot, however: an imprint. Pharrell Williams has one (I Am Other with Columbia) as does Maroon 5’s Adam Levine (222 Records through Interscope). Such deals not only give acts signing power, but allow them to license new releases for “pressing and distribution” (or P&D) deals, which can net as much as an 80 percent to 85 percent profit split, compared with the more standard 50/50 share. However, Timberlake (with Tennman for Interscope) and Usher (with US Records for Sony’s J) have already tried that approach, with little to show for it. Still, labels may look to revive the concept come re-up time.
and all happened on NBC lol.
4 – d*** in a box
5 – 5. Justin took over the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards with a greatest-hits medley and an all-too-brief reunion with those ‘N Sync guys he used to sing with.
on Tuesday, Nsync will be releasing a greatest hits if you will compilation album!
1. Here We Go (Radio Cut)
2. I Want You Back (Radio Edit)
3. Tearin’ Up My Heart (Original Radio Edit)
4. God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You (Remix)
5. Thinking Of You (I Drive Myself Crazy)
6. For The Girl Who Has Everything (Radio Mix)
7. Are You Gonna Be There
8. Music Of My Heart – Featuring Gloria Estefan
9. Bye Bye Bye
10. It’s Gonna Be Me
11. This I Promise You (Radio Edit)
12. I Thought She Knew
13. I Believe In You – Featuring Joe
14. If I’m Not The One
15. Pop (Radio Version)
16. Girlfriend (The Neptunes Remix) – Featuring Nelly
1. More Than A Feeling
2. Best Of My Life
3. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
5. Everything I Own
6. God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You – Featuring Alabama
7. Somewhere Someday
8. Trashin’ The Camp – Featuring Phil Collins
9. If Only In Heaven’s Eyes
10. You Don’t Have To Be Alone
11. On The Line – Featuring The On The Line All-Stars / Lance Bass / Joey Fatone / Mandy Moore / Christian Burns & True Vibe
12. That Girl (Will Never Be Mine)
14. Feel The Love
16. See Right Through You
17. Believe In Yourself (TV Version – Sesame Street)
as you all know Pharrell’s new album girl features a ton of hot collaborations, one being Justin. so below I have a stream of the song “brand new” they have together.
Following Pharrell‘s massive 2013 of collaborating with Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers, and Robin Thicke, he recently announced plans for his own next full-length. G I R L is out March 3 on Columbia. Now Popjustice has revealed a tracklist (check it out below) including collaborations with Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, and Alicia Keys.
In other Pharrel news, the world may never know what was underneath his enormous, Vivienne Westwood-designed hat at the Grammys… But, now, someone can own it. As Line of Best Fit points out, the “Mountain Hat” is up for auction on eBay, with proceeds benefiting the non-profitFrom One Hand to Another. The piece of music-meme history has already reached 64 bids at a price of $10,500.
According to the eBay listing, From One Hand to Another aims to “help change the world one kid at a time by giving them the tools and resources to meet their unique potential and empower them to nurture curiosity by learning through new technologies, arts, media and motivation!” The auction runs through March 2.
G I R L:
01 Marilyn Monroe
02 Brand New [ft. Justin Timberlake]
06 Come Get It [ft. Miley Cyrus]
07 Gust of Wind [ft. Daft Punk]
08 Lost Queen
10 I Know Who You Are [ft. Alicia Keys]
Juicy J says “Stay Trippy’s” follow-up is slated to be released this year.
Juicy J has announced that he is slated to release a new album this year.
Juicy announced this project through Twitter, an announcement that follows last year’s Stay Trippy.
Stay Trippy was released in August 2013. The album features Project Pat, Justin Timberlake and Wiz Khalifa.
The album received a 3 out of 5 rating by HipHopDX.
“Some Rap is tailor made for headphone listening and careful analysis of every word,” HipHopDX wrote at the time. “Then there are songs that are meant to be played loud in public settings, and the lyrics don’t matter so much. If you haven’t already figured it out, Stay Trippy is the latter. And for as much flack as it receives, there is entertainment value there and it serves its purpose as a soundtrack to the ‘trippy’ lifestyle. Still, existing within that world that overlooks lyrical competence or any moral deficiencies, there are enough instances where the veteran’s effortless style starts veering too close to effort-less. But it doesn’t seem like the veteran will be going away anytime soon.”
Beyonce drops Part 5 of her Self-Titled mini-documentary series that gives a glimpse into her fifth self-titled LP, Beyonce. In this five-and-a-half minute (we’re seeing a pattern here)episode titled “Honesty,” the “XO” singer gets personal and talks about having to carry the same torch now of her previous inspirations. “I feel like I’m having to tap into a lot of my life experiences to pull inspiration, and I feel like I’m opening a lot in these videos and showing a lot of sides to me that only a few people have seen.”
This episode also takes fans inside the studio as Yonce puts together the ballad “Rocket,” which she co-wrote with Justin Timberlake and Miguel. “It was a moment in the studio where I didn’t want to stop singing it, and I just kinda zoned out,” she explains of finding the melody. “I don’t think I would have done it back then. I don’t think I would have been confident enough. I would have been too afraid of what other people thought, but I kinda dropped that fourth wall and I did it.”
Justin Timberlake’s ‘The 20/20 Experience’ leads the year-end Top Billboard 200 Albums chart, the first time a solo male artist has crowned the tally since 2005. That year, 50 Cent’s “The Massacre” (on Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Records) claimed the prize.
‘The 20/20 Experience’ (RCA) debuted at No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200, selling 968,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. At press time, it remains the largest single sales week of the year for an album, and reigns as the year’s best-selling title. It spent three weeks at No. 1 and was followed by sequel ‘The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2),’ which debuted at No. 1 on the Oct. 19 chart.
‘The 20/20 Experience’ spent 18 non-consecutive weeks in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart (all during the chart year). The album spun-off the singles “Suit & Tie,” featuring Jay Z (a No. 3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100), “Mirrors” (No. 2) and “Pusher Love Girl” (No. 64).
Timberlake’s No. 1 placing follows two years where Adele’s ’21’ ruled the roost. The English singer’s XL/Columbia set marked the first release to go back to back as the year’s top album since 1983 and 1984, when Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ (Epic) was No. 1. While she may not be No. 1, Adele is still present on the year-end tally. “21” is, coincidentally, No. 21 on Top Billboard 200 Albums.
As for Timberlake, this is his first turn at No. 1 on the year-end Top Billboard 200 Albums as a solo artist. As a member of ‘N Sync, he was No. 1 in 2000 with “No Strings Attached” (Jive).
At No. 2 on the year-end Top Billboard 200 Albums is Taylor Swift’s 2012 release ‘Red’ (Big Machine/BMLG), followed by One Direction’s ‘Take Me Home’ (No. 3, Syco/Columbia), Mars’ ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ and Mumford & Sons’ ‘Babel’ (No. 5, Gentleman of the Road/Glassnote).
Billboard’s year-end Billboard 200 is based on chart performance during the chart year that began with last year’s Dec. 1 chart and ended with the Nov. 30, 2013, tally.
T.I. and Justin Timberlake came together on a huge hit back in back in 2006 with “My Love,” and it looks like they may have another big collaboration in the works. Tip randomly showed up at the red carpet for the new Hunger Games film, and spoke to Clevver News about The JT feature, his acting career, and a party he may or may not have attended at Bieber’s house.
The ATL rapper began by listing the acting projects he’s got in the pipeline. “Right now, I’m currently filming the third season of ‘House of Lies’ with Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell, and I’m co-starring along with Mekhi Phifer, and we’re just having a phenomenal time,” he said. “It premiers in January.”
When asked about his work with Justin Timberlake, Tip made sure to confirm that there was a record coming, but didn’t go into any more detail than that. “Well, you know, I just happen to have some,” said T.I. of new music with JT. “I just happen to have some, thank you for asking.”
As far as a recent party at the Biebz, T.I. was strangely tight-lipped about the festivities. “Well you know I will not have any mention of any of that,” he joked. “If I was there, I’m sure it was a good time, but I will not confirm or deny any allegations.”