Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Everybody have fun (and make money) tonight

Wang Chung is a band most people probably haven't thought about in a long, long time. The group popped up a couple of days ago in an interesting article in the New York Times about artists re-recording their hits to earn more money.

According to the piece, Wang Chung plans to re-record their 1986 smash "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" so the band can take home more licensing revenues. This is how it works: typically revenues from licensing a song are split 50-50 between the artist and the record label (which owns the song) under most record contracts.

When a contract expires, an artist is free to re-record the music (although sometimes there's a 5-year moratorium on this in the agreement). The re-recorded music is solely owned by the artist, so he or she does not need to split the revenue. A 50 percent increase in licensing fees sounds pretty good, no? The article didn't mention this, but some artists are choosing to re-record songs that are popularly licensed for sampling.

2 comments:

Keir said...

Cracker did this too, on their "Greatest Hits Redux" album from last year, and released it at the same time that Virgin was releasing a second, redundant Cracker compilation of their own.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't that ctually be a 100% increase? If they weren't splitting, their stake would double, right?