Today’s numbers thread is brought to you by the numbers 0, 50 and 1M
Zero as in: Yesterday was a holiday so no new numbers got released yesterday. 50 as in 50/50 that Billboard’s computers will be able to churn out the correct numbers the first time around. And 1M as in how many people wish today was a holiday too.
But, in other news [from BB], how much is a 25 year old song worth? Garth Brook has done a good job over the years of generating new income from his old hits. His latest idea was to re-release his “No Fences” album to a non-traditional retailer (last time he did that, it was to MacDonalds…”Would you like Garth with your order?
“). It would have featured a new version of “Friends in Low Places” by George Strait, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Idol Judge Keith Urban. The non-traditional retailer promised to by 1M copies. The trick was that the owners of the publishing rights had to agree to take a 50% cut in the normal royalty rates to meet the budget. Most of the songwriters agreed using the following logic.
“Garth Brooks has done more to generate income from these songs than anybody else. On the first several uses, we got paid full rate and then he started coming up with different packages — this may be the sixth or seventh time he’s found a way to re-energize this 25-year-old material,” [Pat Brook…one of the songwriters on that album] says. “In a day when 50,000 sales really impresses somebody, we’re being guaranteed over a million sales on this. As a songwriter who has watched his income diminish, to give a half rate to someone who’s going to guarantee me a million or a million and a half copies, doesn’t seem like I’m giving up much.”
Other rights holders did not agree. So, what say you? Is 50% of the royalties on 1M in sales on a 25 year old song worth it, or is it a slippery slope that should not be attempted lest everybody start demanding a discount on royalties?
BTW Only one album released in 2015 has sold 1M copies…Drake’s “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”.