independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Sat 29th Apr 2017 8:37am
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Inside the Confusing Future of Prince's Recorded Music Catalog
« Previous topic  Next topic »
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 04/20/17 12:42pm

purplethunder3
121

avatar

Inside the Confusing Future of Prince's Recorded Music Catalog

Inside the Confusing Future of Prince's Recorded Music Catalog

4/20/2017 by Ed Christman



prince-performance-super-bowl-a-2007-billboard-1548.jpg
AP Photo/Amy Sancetta
Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XLI football game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami on Feb. 4, 2007.

Amid allegations of misrepresentation, an iconic repertoire hangs in the balance.

Universal Music Group is crying foul over allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation in its licensing deal for Prince's catalog, which could result in the artist's records once again being shopped to competing labels.

.

In February, UMG agreed to a $30 million deal with the Prince estate, in which the label would assume the rights to Prince's post-1995 catalog globally; unreleased material; and, in the United States, the licensing and distribution of "certain key titles" from his Warner Music Group catalog, recorded between 1978 and 1995, including 1999. (Four soundtrack albums, including Purple Rain, will remain with WMG in perpetuity.)

.

But recently, UMG sent a letter to Comerica Bank, which took over as administrator for the estate from Bremer Trust on Feb. 1, alleging that the terms of its deal were misrepresented by the Prince estate's representatives. At the heart of the dispute is the expiration date of Prince's deal with Warner. A representative from Prince's camp allegedly informed UMG that the Prince-Warner deal expired in June 2018. But most sources now believe the existing agreement doesn't run out until 2021. (A few still insist it will be sooner.)

prince-paddock-performance-2011-billboard-650-1548.jpg

Who in Prince's camp made the alleged misrepresentations? It's unclear -- the estate had a team of lawyers involved -- but according to sources, former estate adviser L. Londell McMillan led the recorded-music deal, while co-adviser Charles Koppelman led publishing talks. McMillan denied misrepresentation, and Koppelman declined to comment. Both have since been replaced by Spotify's Troy Carter, who issued a statement on April 17 saying the estate is "assessing all rights relating to Prince's recorded music."

.

UMG and WMG declined to comment. In a statement to Billboard, a Comerica rep said that the deal "was fully negotiated prior to Comerica assuming its role with the estate."

In addition to the master recordings, UMG also cut deals for Universal Music Publishing Group to serve as administrator to the catalog and for its Bravado unit to handle merchandising. UMG is happy with those deals. But the three-year differential now in dispute is a significant one.

"UMG's financial modeling is tricky right now because of the streaming model and sales projections," says a source familiar with the situation. "If the reversion dates are inaccurate, the models don't work."

prince-performance-2013-purple-audience-billboard-1548.jpg

Yet the problem is now for Comerica and its advisers to solve. The Prince estate has three potential options: return UMG's advance and put the catalog back up for bid; keep the advance and go to court with UMG; or quietly negotiate a resolution.

A source familiar with the situation downplays any potential fireworks: "This is all a lot of posturing. Whatever UMG's issue is, it will all be negotiated and solved."

  • \

]

[Edited 4/20/17 12:46pm]

[Edited 4/20/17 12:46pm]

I'm not a woman,
I'm not a man,
I am something that you’ll never understand...
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 04/20/17 1:14pm

RodeoSchro

avatar

One entity has to own/control/be in charge of the entire catalogue. That includes released music; unreleased music; associated artists; videos; publishing rights; and concert footage.

Anything else only going to lead to confusion, delay and lawsuits.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

Cowardice always hides behind insinuation
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 04/20/17 1:49pm

nelcp777

Do you think WB should just handle everything? Even the post 1995 material?

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 04/20/17 2:09pm

lastdecember

avatar

nelcp777 said:

Do you think WB should just handle everything? Even the post 1995 material?

The interest in the VAULT is strictly for the loyals and Universal has said this, they are not too concerned with it, they want his "heyday" stuff and access to all that. His post 1995 catalog is not very attractive to a label giving millions for it, there is not much in terms of the mainstream in there to care about. I mean many things are out of Print but those who want it, have it, so unless they are going to foot the bill and remaster repackage they need to know its going to sell, and sorry to say I dont think it will overall. I honestly wish "if he owned" this stuff that someone in his own camp would release it through NPG make it a joint thing with his estate, give the original label a cut and go from there. Problem with WB having control is that they are in the same boat as universal, where is the are looking at things like "1999" "PR" "Parade" "Sign o the times" not Chaos and Disorder and the Vault.


"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 04/20/17 2:57pm

RodeoSchro

avatar

nelcp777 said:

Do you think WB should just handle everything? Even the post 1995 material?



Honestly, I think it should be me in charge of it. But that ain't gonna happen, LOL.

I think it should be a team led by someone like Sheila E. Someone from his inner circle. I heard Sheila's name bandied about some months ago, but I don't know if she's in the mix now or not.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

Cowardice always hides behind insinuation
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 04/20/17 4:12pm

nelcp777

Thanks for the inputs. I think, the post 1995 material needs to be "pushed" to the mainstream. Prince's independent artist status gave him a market niche, the die hards. It kinda reminds me of Hendrix who was way before his time as well.

It is a risky business model, but if it is done right, it could pay off. I get a bit tired of hearing the same old tracks from the hey day. Just my 2 cents.

The Vault has to have some hits, so to speak. WB owning the majority of the material, at least from the licensing side, can be concerning. I was not impressed with Prince 4Ever. It seemed like a rehash or extension of the Hits release.

The die hards will be buy almost anything. It is the new generations that need to be brought into Prince's world. I think the only way to do that is not run the Vault or Estate as Prince did. Not that he did anything wrong. I think streaming is the way to go. The digital age is here and I do not see it going anywhere. Didn't Prince even say it is a singles market?

With most of his 1995 and on material out of print, that could help with a marketing ploy of rare or unique music. I don't know the solution, but the Estate does neeed to reach more market share.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 04/20/17 4:34pm

luv4u

Moderator

avatar

moderator

Edmonton, AB - canada

Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
"I kind of wish there was a reason for Prince to make the site crash more" ~~ Ben
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Inside the Confusing Future of Prince's Recorded Music Catalog