CONTRACT
Artists, Record Labels

Just as Warner Music geared up for its $2.6 billion IPO (flotation), one of its biggest acts has said that it would like to get out of its contract with the label. Nu-metal genre leaders Linkin Park allege that cost-cutting across the company has diminished its strength, leaving it “unable to compete in today’s global music marketplace” and that senior executives are taking profit at the expense of musicians. The band has threatened to stop work on its new album, believing the company will not be able to market it sufficiently. The band has sold over 35M albums globally and says that it makes up 10% of the company’s US sales. Warner Music has stated that it is closer to 3%. The band still has a further four albums to deliver under its current contract and Warner Music has dismissed this outburst as a “negotiating tactic” built on “baseless charges”. It has been suggested that the band had asked for $60M in advances to release their new album through a JV deal in exchange for a split of profits. Warner Music is said to have offered substantially less and a profit split. The band is said to have renegotiated its contract back in 2000 to put them on more favourable deal terms. The band’s first album Hybrid Theory sold 15 million copies worldwide and the 2003 Meteora sold 10 million.

See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4507903.stm and The Times 4th May 2005