How does BMG make money from Moz?

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
I was wondering how does BMG make money from Low In High School? Do they get a % of each CD sold, do they get any money from the tour, etc. Basically I was wondering how Moz is so rich if his albums don't exactly earn millions. I know Moz has been a millionaire since his early solo years and owns a lot of properties, and touring is lucrative, but surely Moz or BMG can't be making much from the album sales.
 

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
Depends on the deal he has. In years gone by (according to only 2 bands I know) you got an advance of x and the record company kept all the money until all their costs were covered. After that the money was split based on the % agreed up front.
 

Charlie Cheswick

Well-Known Member
Deals are usually, advance to the artist to get the record done, promotion, videos etc. Then the label gets all of this advance back until their costs are covered. Once they break even the artist will earn a percentage from all future revenue, probably around 12.5% but this could be higher or lower depending on the artist's experience striking a deal and raising revenue.

Modern contracts will have merch and live revenue tied in and that's where the money is now.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
Deals are usually, advance to the artist to get the record done, promotion, videos etc. Then the label gets all of this advance back until their costs are covered. Once they break even the artist will earn a percentage from all future revenue, probably around 12.5% but this could be higher or lower depending on the artist's experience striking a deal and raising revenue.

Modern contracts will have merch and live revenue tied in and that's where the money is now.
Awhile back Morrissey mentioned that the only deals being offered were 360 deals - which he wanted no part of:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/360_deal

I could be totally off but I thought Morrissey was already paying for the recordings and then getting a record deal for the promotion and distribution? I thought that's how he was able to pull WPINOYB from Harvest because he owned it. Whatever the case, I can't imagine that his album sales at this point are much better than breakeven. BMG must be getting some percentage of touring otherwise I don't see how it would be worth it for them.
 
M

Musician

Guest
Basically I was wondering how Moz is so rich if his albums don't exactly earn millions. I know Moz has been a millionaire since his early solo years and owns a lot of properties, and touring is lucrative, but surely Moz or BMG can't be making much from the album sales.
Don't know about BMG, but for Morrissey - on top of the fee, he receives live royalties the following year (and as most of his set are non-LIHS songs, he keeps most of it - i mean, his share of the songs). Depending on the size of the venues, it can be a really considerable sum.
 

Charlie Cheswick

Well-Known Member
Awhile back Morrissey mentioned that the only deals being offered were 360 deals - which he wanted no part of:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/360_deal

I could be totally off but I thought Morrissey was already paying for the recordings and then getting a record deal for the promotion and distribution? I thought that's how he was able to pull WPINOYB from Harvest because he owned it. Whatever the case, I can't imagine that his album sales at this point are much better than breakeven. BMG must be getting some percentage of touring otherwise I don't see how it would be worth it for them.
You'd assume they are. Deals are fairly standard and I can't see a record company signing up to something that sees them lose. If Morrissey is financing his recordings up front that puts him in a good position with any deal but a publisher will get far more than the artist in any typical deal. The theory is that without a publisher you'll sell nothing so giving them a great big cut is better than you having nothing. Even without any merch or live stuff thrown in, if Morrissey paid for the recordings, they're on to a risk free winner despite sales being close to nothing of what they would have a couple of decades ago. They've got an artist who still does sell and have no upfront costs. That said you'd assume they'd got a tie in to the proper money making stuff.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
If he paid for the recording then I’m guessing they still made something off world wide record sales. The distribution cost something but it’s not like they spent a whole lot on promotion. Even the videos weren’t budget breakers (all one location shoots in simple places). They probably do get something from live and merch revenue it I’ve also read that sometimes labels will sign a legacy simply for the attention they can bring. I’d never even heard of bmg whom I think are sorta new before morrissey so maybe that helps the deal. Also legacy acts will sell for a years to come with every revival retrospective etc comes down the line
 

Charlie Cheswick

Well-Known Member
Don't know about BMG, but for Morrissey - on top of the fee, he receives live royalties the following year (and as most of his set are non-LIHS songs, he keeps most of it - i mean, his share of the songs). Depending on the size of the venues, it can be a really considerable sum.
I don't know 100% how live funding works? Does the artist still get a fee for each song that they wrote when it's performed and a fee for each song performed if they've agreed a fee up front with a venue? I know the other stuff is claimed from a centralized pot but does this still get claimed and if it does, how does this impact on what they take at a venue?

I guess I'm asking if an artist gets their money in stages on the back of claiming for their performance royalties and per tickets sold or if they just if it's sorted at the door with the venue so to speak.

There are stories from the 70's where bands would literally be leaving venues with sack fulls of money from merch sales, wonder if this is still how it works.
 

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
I don't know 100% how live funding works? Does the artist still get a fee for each song that they wrote when it's performed and a fee for each song performed if they've agreed a fee up front with a venue? I know the other stuff is claimed from a centralized pot but does this still get claimed and if it does, how does this impact on what they take at a venue?

I guess I'm asking if an artist gets their money in stages on the back of claiming for their performance royalties and per tickets sold or if they just if it's sorted at the door with the venue so to speak.

There are stories from the 70's where bands would literally be leaving venues with sack fulls of money from merch sales, wonder if this is still how it works.
Think nowadays they work on an average of £10 per head on merchandise spend, so still very lucrative if accurate. I remember back in the day somebody telling me James made more from merchandise than record sales.
 

Charlie Cheswick

Well-Known Member
Think nowadays they work on an average of £10 per head on merchandise spend, so still very lucrative if accurate. I remember back in the day somebody telling me James made more from merchandise than record sales.
Yeah, can you remember when every bogger had a James t-shirt on and James were supporting every band you went to see? Makes sense.
 

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
Yeah, can you remember when every bogger had a James t-shirt on and James were supporting every band you went to see? Makes sense.
Yes, they were great designs and the band worked really hard to get their name out there. Saw them a few times back then but more recently twice at Castlefield Bowl, wish Morrissey would play there, its a fantastic space for live music!
 
M

Musician

Guest
I don't know 100% how live funding works? Does the artist still get a fee for each song that they wrote when it's performed and a fee for each song performed if they've agreed a fee up front with a venue? I know the other stuff is claimed from a centralized pot but does this still get claimed and if it does, how does this impact on what they take at a venue?

I guess I'm asking if an artist gets their money in stages on the back of claiming for their performance royalties and per tickets sold or if they just if it's sorted at the door with the venue so to speak.
See my username ;) - this is how it works. You play the gig, grab the fee, submit the setlist to the local society (local equivalent to PRS) - actually, the venue does it for you- then the following year or so (depends on how quick they process it) the songwriters get the live royalty. I had the luck of playing a few stadium gigs as a support - and the royalty check is realllly nice I must tell you! Can only guess the main act's sum...
 

Oh my

Enough! or Too much
I was wondering how does BMG make money from Low In High School? Do they get a % of each CD sold, do they get any money from the tour, etc. Basically I was wondering how Moz is so rich if his albums don't exactly earn millions. I know Moz has been a millionaire since his early solo years and owns a lot of properties, and touring is lucrative, but surely Moz or BMG can't be making much from the album sales.
It is actually Morrissey the one who gets a % of each CD that gets sold (i.e, Morrissey obviously CAN'T ask a factory to burn some 2,000 LIHS CDs and sell them on eBay... BMG would sue him).

I assume it is the same than with books and I have published books by different authors. The copyright belongs to the author, but the author concedes SOME of the rights to the publisher, as you can see here:


(The copyright symbol doesn't say "Morrissey", but "BMG Rights Management").

Depending on the contract he has signed, the publisher has different rights... but those rights are limited by the contract (the two parts have limitations... i.e, Morrissey can't ask another label to publish, say, a dance remix of the songs... but BMG can't publish a dance remix of the songs either unless there is a written agreement that allows such thing -in the same way that I have the exclusive rights to publish some books, but I can't even change a comma in their content).

Contracts are a true hell and only lawyers understand them (and I am not one!).
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
See my username ;) - this is how it works. You play the gig, grab the fee, submit the setlist to the local society (local equivalent to PRS) - actually, the venue does it for you- then the following year or so (depends on how quick they process it) the songwriters get the live royalty. I had the luck of playing a few stadium gigs as a support - and the royalty check is realllly nice I must tell you! Can only guess the main act's sum...
Are you Boz?
 

Charlie Cheswick

Well-Known Member
See my username ;) - this is how it works. You play the gig, grab the fee, submit the setlist to the local society (local equivalent to PRS) - actually, the venue does it for you- then the following year or so (depends on how quick they process it) the songwriters get the live royalty. I had the luck of playing a few stadium gigs as a support - and the royalty check is realllly nice I must tell you! Can only guess the main act's sum...
Thanks!
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
There are stories from the 70's where bands would literally be leaving venues with sack fulls of money from merch sales, wonder if this is still how it works.
Reminds me of that scene in Depeche Mode's 101 tour film from 1988 where the accountant guys discuss making over $1,000,000 from ticket sales and merchandise from ONE show.

It's in the first few seconds:

 
T

Truth

Guest
The Problem With Music by Steve Albini
this is an old article about how it used to work before 360 deals.

STEVE ALBINI: THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS A PARASITE… AND COPYRIGHT IS DEAD

This is from just a couple of years ago.

But it's hard to say how Morrissey's deal works. These are more geared to new bands but the info is pretty specific for that. Since Morrissey has a history going back decades with different companies it doesn't really apply. Didn't the reason he pulled the Hollywood Bowl release in 2007 have something to do with a Warners reissue of material by The Smiths? Then you get into his reissues, remasters, and various collections and it must be really complicated.
There is also the question of how many of his sales are just digital downloads. Sometimes the royalties on that are a lot lower than on physical records. That is probably changing though. If he pays for the recording and the record company already has everything in place to do the digital downloads it seems like that would have a pretty high profit margin.
With Morrissey they know that even if the audience isn't huge there are lots of collectors so they will do all the different colors of vinyl and things like that single box set. Then they can use things like that to attract other artists. Someone that is guaranteed to make them a profit might sign with them because they see the care that went into something like that box set even if they don't make a whole lot of money on it.
Anyway the recording and film industries have been run by criminals since the beginning. It's probably a money laundering scheme. They don't really need to make a profit off of Morrissey's record.
 

Charlie Cheswick

Well-Known Member
Steve Albini is one of a kind for somebody with his reputation. He comparitively works for f*** all, well it's great money but comparitively cause you just hire him per day and that's all you pay him - I read somewhere it's £400 a day but he works fast. I don't know of any other producer of his standing who gets what he does, most work on a deal that earns them relative to what the artist gets.
 

Mr Delaney

I've left.
Not sure about this particular record (haven't got the credits at hand) but previous records were distribution deals, where Morrissey paid for the recordings, owning them in the process (as opposed to the record company) then licensing them to a record company for an exclusive (manufacturing and) distribution deal. If it says "© Morrissey" (or equivalent), then this is the type of deal done.
 
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