Lots of rumors are flying about Da Band from MTV’s Making the Band II. Apparently there are questions about whether Sarah has quit the group and whether the group will ever make any money. Here are parts of the SOHH.com article ‘Da Band’s Grim Financial Future, Goodbye Sarah?‘ (emphasis is mine):
Sarah, a misfit from the onset who was said to be “not hip-hop,” was also a no show during the premiere of Da Band’s new song “Bad Boy This, Bad Boy the on DJ Kay Slay’s radio show in New York.
Show fans are also buzzing about the group’s recording contract after last week’s episode revealed Da Band conferencing with their manager over an apparent three percentage points they’d receive on every dollar their record makes. To put those numbers in perspective, even if they sold 1 million CDs at about $17.99, they’ll go home with less than $100,000 each after splitting the money six ways and less than $50,000 if they only go gold. And that’s before the group has to “recoup” (repay) costs such as the recording budget, the advance, half of the price of the videos, and half of all of the independent promotions.
This means Da Band will have to rely on other financial means including touring and endorsements to make a living. Wendy Day, CEO of Rap Coalition – a non-profit organization aimed at the unfair exploitation of artists in the music industry – says going platinum is a feat and puts her own spin on Da Band’s money shortfall.
“Here’s my educated guess: the label gave a 12% deal (standard) which got split between two companies involved in the making of the show (6% and 6%) and one of those companies (most likely the production company) then split their cut with the group (3% and 3%),” said Williams who started Rap Coalition (lots of good info here) in 1992. This appears to be similar to the American Idol show, which also takes a cut of the artist’s recording contract.
“Regardless, 3% is excessively oppressive, bordering on straight rape,” continues Day, who provides a detailed breakdown of “The Financial Realities of A Record Deal” on her website, www.rapcoalition.org. “Who is the scumbag behind that show? Puh-lease, it ought to be called ‘Making Rich Power Mongers Richer’ … And you can quote me.”
A few weeks ago I mentioned a bit about the contract signing scene. I was hoping that the scene was just for show, and that the group members had at least read their contracts before signing them. (Of course they should have had lawyers look them over too.) Not that they still wouldn’t or shouldn’t have signed, but at least they’d know what they were getting involved with. But after seeing (I think it was) Fred’s reaction to the ‘news’ that they’d be receiving 3 points (“I ain’t doin’ it!”), it seems pretty clear that they didn’t read the contracts at all. I’m surprised that these aspiring musicians haven’t learned how the industry works. They should have known that they’d be pimped on the records and that the way to make money is by touring. That’s been documented so many times that it should be common knowledge by now — especially for people trying to get in the industry. I guess these guys just believe what they see in the videos.
I have a question about the numbers calculated in the quoted article above. If anyone knows whether artists get a cut of (actual) retail, wholesale or list price/MSRP, please leave a comment and let me know. I always assumed that they got a cut of wholesale, but the article’s figures seem to be based on retail or list price/MSRP.Powered by Sidelines