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.


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?