Clear Channel Winds-Up with another label deal


Clear ChannelWind-Up Records is said to be one of the biggest indies out there, and the label is becoming the latest addition to Clear Channel’s stable of partners. As with previous deals, the agreement involves airplay and streaming.

In essence, the partners will share in revenues generated on both platforms. It boils down to a performance royalty benefitting Wind-Up in exchange for  reasonable streaming payments for Clear Channel.

Among the Wind-up talent pool are Evanescence, Creed, Seether, Five for Fighting, O.A.R., Filter, Finger Eleven, Civil Twilight, Jillette Johnson, Young Guns, The Virginmarys, Aranda and The Darkness.

“Wind-up has an impressive roster of established and up-and-coming artists, due in large measure to its collaborative, supportive artist development process, and we¹re excited to partner with them,” said Bob Pittman, CEO of Clear Channel. “This agreement demonstrates that market-based solutions can enhance the future growth of digital radio ­ and benefit artists, labels, and listeners as well.”

“Wind-up at its essence is an artist development company,” said Wind-up’s Chief Executive Officer Edward Vetri. “This partnership with Clear Channel will provide us a new and innovative platform to make our artists¹ music more accessible to their fans.  We believe growing digital radio is critical to artist development and are excited to be aligned with Clear Channel in its digital radio strategy.”

RBR-TVBR observation: This touches on an issue that some in Congress have promised to air out this year. The invulnerable broadcast performance rights issue – you can knock it down, but it always comes back – has been put on the agenda of the House Judiciary Committee.

This is problematic: Although it has been especially difficult to get legislation through Congress lately, this is one of those business v. business issues where sides have traditionally not been chosen along party lines. So the general dysfunction on Capitol Hill does not provide a safeguard for broadcasters.

But here’s the thing: Enacting legislation is still difficult. It is much easier if the two businesses can find their own remedy – and every deal between a radio company and a label is a step in that direction.

Broadcasters may well be able to once again head off enactment of a congressionally-mandated performance royalty on the content-for-promotion argument, because it still holds true. But every agreement reached like this one will make the task that much easier.