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360 Degrees of Seperation: The Record Deal is Coming Full Circle

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The digital age is upon us and you can either conform to it or get left. There has been some resistance from the music industry but they realize to stay afloat they need to change their outlook and streamline their current business model. Closing their doors is not an option so they must open a window to allow other possible revenue streams in. The traditional record deal is no longer working for the artist or the record label. A solution has been recommended and put into practice, it is known as the 360 deal. This deal is supposed to come full circle by definition but does it fall short or benefit one side more than the other. At this point the 360 deal is so new that it honestly is a matter of opinion whether it works and will do well in the future.

Music sales are down but artists are still making money via touring, merchandise sales, publishing, and licensing. With the old record deal management companies, record labels and promotion companies would not be receiving a portion of these earnings. The 360 deal however gives them the opportunity to collect a percentage of each revenue stream. This percentage wouldn’t come free the label would in turn be required to offer more financial backing and help in all aspects of the musicians career.

The artist becomes a brand and not someone who simply plays music. Being a brand involves having an image, wearing the right clothes and having a contemporary hair style. With the 360 deal the company is making the decisions on what is best for the brand, you as the artist may or may not have a say in the matter. The labels believe that the 360 deal will be their saving grace so they are laying off members of their staff to be able to afford it.

Artists who are in support of the 360 deal are shopping their contract much like a baseball or basketball star would when they become a free agent. The goal is to find the company that will produce the most exposure and give the biggest payout. Rapper TI is a prime example, he is looking for a company that will pay him 75 million dollars in exchange for profits from his publishing, touring, and merchandise and licensing. On top of that they will also make money from the artists who are signed to TI’s label. Some big fish are now biting but aren’t offering him exactly what he is looking for. Another article on the website explains what he is looking for and the potential that he will receive it (http://www.sosoactive.com/is-the-trouble-man-t-i-really-worth-75-million-dollars/).