The quote below is from the article noted above by Andrew Orlowski where he talks about how the deals made by labels on their behalf of course, but they were also, supposedly on behalf of the artists whom they are supposed to have fiduciary obligation to — due to the contracts they have with the artists. Instead this deal left the artists between a rock and a hard place.
Is it little wonder that many artists are going independent these days?
This quote was about deals with wholesalers like Iris or Orchard who are, according to the article, essentially intermediaries in the distribution chain.
To you, a deal between a label and a distributor may look like a wholesale deal, and walk like a wholesale deal, but it doesn’t quack like a wholesale deal. The labels regarded it as a retail deal.
So overnight the artists’ cut fell from 50 per cent to 10 per cent. Attorney and author Steve Gordon, who was at Sony Music at the time, put it quite succinctly: “It’s all about f*cking the artist.”