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american idol contract
Old 25th May 2003
  #1
american idol contract

anyone know the ins and outs of the American Idol contracts? Just a raw curiosity thing here, but does J Records get first right of refusal on all of the contestants, and just salary the top 3 or so, make their record, send them out?

I can't imagine the terms are that great on the back end.
-sm
Old 25th May 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 

In addition to signing the "winner", I do know they have the right to sign any of the top 10, aka, first right of refusal. The artists also can not release something else with anyone else for like 6(may have been 12) months, which either way, is actually ridiculously reasonable.
Simon has made comments several times, that the people they sign will be instant millionaires, which probably boils down to the initial large advance (which sneakily may include the recording budget(typical LA all in deal), which will probably be the only thing they will see, as they will see very little publishing, and probably won't see any record royalties. Their only hope of income will be special appearances and concerts.
Old 25th May 2003
  #3
How much of the cost of the TV show is considered "marketting" against the artist backend, do ya think?

-sm

(hey doug)
Old 26th May 2003
  #4
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by smoothmoniker
How much of the cost of the TV show is considered "marketting" against the artist backend, do ya think?
Ouch, talk about taking a hit on royalties because of TV advertisement.

They couldn't do that... OR COULD THEY?

Poor kids.

But then again, that's a pretty serious 15 minutes of fame.

R.
Old 28th May 2003
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Chae Ham's Avatar
 

Something like American Idol is a DREAM for record companies/execs(i.e Simon). Its a contest where America has a direct impact on who wins. So not only do they know that no matter what the winner releases as their first single/album, it'll be bought up like crazy, the show itself is a blatantly sneaky method of pre-promotion. Promotion is what really determines whether artists will see the light of day in the music industry. This show "solves" this problem for whomever wins.

I really do feel for the winners though. I hope they've employed a good entertainment laywer to go over the finer details of the contract with them.

The BEST thing that the winner could do is to refuse the contract after winning the contest. With that much promotion and exposure backing them, just about every record company would be fighting to sign them, on THEIR TERMS.
Old 28th May 2003
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Oh, I'm sure they've got the talent (?) signing something before it all kicks off.

I can't imagine anyone that's THAT involved in the media (and it's manipulation) actually letting someone just walk away without having a huge piece of the action.

R.
Old 28th May 2003
  #7
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heinz's Avatar
 

absofreakinlutely those kids are locked up from now until the golden years before they even hit the stage. The thing is a huge machine... tours, celeb marketing, AT&T cell ****, merchandise. That first girl Kelly's record is well past 1M units.

The brilliance in this particular biz is the audience involvement... get them vested in the players, hating/liking judges, rooting for their favorites. This time around they really milked the final group forever, and all of those kids go on tour and get some sort of deal or promotional contract.

Those of you with kids may be aware of the whole Viacom/Nickelodeon artist manufacturing process. They invent "stars" that appear on Nickelodeon networks... Lil Romeo, etc.. and put them in movies and commercials to give them credibility, regardless of talent. This drives a huge number of units of cd's, dvd's, and a sick amount of merchandise. And it gets the toddlers and pre-teens into the retail channel much earlier than was previously possible.

With my kids I just let them know that it's all a ploy to get them to buy stuff, and let them judge for themselves. They're pretty smart, but the level of pure marketing bull**** they're exposed to ongoing freaks me out sometimes. Corporate ****ing brainwashing on a mass media scale. I suppose that it's always been around but the recent scale & efficiency is impressive.
Old 28th May 2003
  #8
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Roland's Avatar
I would imagine that the contract they sign is so watertight that if they so much as go to the bathroom it can be bottled and sold!!

Their careers must be limited to not much more than a year. Once the new pop idol hits the streets I can't see much life left in the older ones. The very first winners may have an advantage in being the first, but I can't help thinking that this short sighted marketing bull**** will come back on the industry and bite it on the ass!!

Regards


Roland
Old 29th May 2003
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Roland
but I can't help thinking that this short sighted marketing bull**** will come back on the industry and bite it on the ass!!

Regards


Roland
i certainly hope it does so we can get back to hearing / seeing some more original and deserving artists get promoted... even though you have to admit that the winner this time around has a great voice. i hope for his sake he can make something out of his career than just whatever the show brings him.

-a-
Old 29th May 2003
  #10
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Roland
...I can't help thinking that this short sighted marketing bull**** will come back on the industry and bite it on the ass!!
I think the short sighted bull**** that goes on in most local entertainment venues has bitten all of us in the ass!

The fact that BMG can find salable talent from a cattle call approach like American Idol or O-Town speaks volumes about how little support today's musical minor leagues are getting. Hopefully at least some of us are treating this as a wake-up call.
Old 29th May 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
I hate to say Bob, that I think the game is already over!

Music sales (particularly dare I say the quality acts) I think will be come minority sport. In these days of quick cheap thrills multimedia entertainment seems to be the only way ahead.

I started as a recording engineer 23 years ago, no where near your stature I know, and I have certainly for the last 15 of those been very busy. I have seen my recording and sound work drop in the last 3 years as it has for most in the industry. Fortunately I do not rely on this for all of my income, but I have seen many friends of mine in the industry (good engineers) whose work has dried up seriously. I still do quite a lot by comparison with many of my competitors and that leads me to wonder how many of them survive. Possibly I have been lucky in that I'm not in the bottom feeder market. When I talk to my suppliers hardly a conversation goes by without being told that such and such a person has gone bust.

I assume that because of the size of the American market it doesn't notice so badly over there and I would assume that your provenence will keep you busy for as long as you wish to stay in the business. If it sounds like a moan, its not meant to be, I count myself lucky to be working and earning doing something I love. I'm trying to look forward to the future however I'm not sure it will ever be quite as good.

Regards



Roland
Old 30th May 2003
  #12
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Roland
I hate to say Bob, that I think the game is already over!

Music sales (particularly dare I say the quality acts) I think will be come minority sport. In these days of quick cheap thrills multimedia entertainment seems to be the only way ahead.
Speaking as somebody who has experienced James Brown in his prime, I must disagree! Music sales have always been driven by outstanding individual performers and not corporations.

Lightning WILL strike again. If we help it along, it could happen sooner rather than later. We've all been riding on the coat-tails of the 1940-70s music industry. It's just that the youngest folks who built the recording industry are now in their 70s and have all cashed-out leaving the corporate lawyers running things.
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