Bob Lefsetz’s take on the record biz’s latest snake oil, 360 Deals, is worth absorbing.
Lefsetz letter 360 DEALS This whole business is top-heavy. And these lumbering giants are trying to maintain their power, however ignorantly.
The key today is leaving some money on the table. Be willing to give the audience something for free, you’ll get paid back in spades, if you’re good.
“360 deal,” the new means for dinosaur record labels to glom on to musician’s ancillary profit centers. Except, of course, what they really want to do is glom onto the artist’s primary touring and swag profit centers under the guise of integrating all efforts behind the about to expire CD ‘hard goods.’
So, once again, in exchange for contacted obligations to the artist the label will reach into the artist’s pockets for monies they never before could get hold of. There’s no charitable way to characterize the foxes figuring out a new fangled way to partner with the hens in exchange for the foxes being allowed to, so-to-speak, guard the henhouse doorway.
I think the record industry has hollowed itself out enough by now that it’s okay to hold the honchos and their minions accountable for this self-destruction. So, with the ‘360’ it seems like starving foxes are offering the hens to do guard duty. At this late point in the old fashioned record industry’s death spiral, I’d blame the artist and their management for being stupid enough to even consider a ‘360.’
Among the many pithy things about the record business artists have told me over the years, one of my favorites was when one described label marketing as: “Somebody making a lot of money whether they are good at their job or not.” Another favorite is concise: “They sit around and do nothing.”