HITS Daily Double
"While every other recording company spoken with made substantial offers, only EMI was willing to take the leap into making this model a reality."
——Jeff Kwatinetz, Korn manager


Deal Gives Company a Chunk of Band's Overall Revenue in Return for a Fat Check
EMI announced this morning that it has signed Korn to a nontraditional deal involving publishing, ticket sales and merchandising that many on the label side are hoping with become the new standard as the music industry seeks new revenue streams. The deal is said to involve an advance in the $15 million range against a 25% cut of the band’s revenue. This scenario was first reported by HITS in June.

Here’s how the announcement describes the deal: “Under the exclusive, global agreement—which includes a recording contract with EMI's Virgin Records—Korn and EMI will also partner in and share in the results from the band's overall career, including their recording, music publishing, touring, merchandising, sponsorship and any other activities, such as film, TV, book or video game projects. This new partnership with Korn more closely aligns the interests of Korn with those of EMI and Virgin. It offers the members of Korn a unique relationship with their record company, and it allows EMI to work more closely with the artists and their management on all aspects of their career and their brand.”

Commented David Munns, EMI Music Vice Chairman and head of North American operations: "Every musical genre has artists who really stand the test of time, and Korn are a rock act with real longevity. When you listen to this new amazing album and see their current live show, it's clear that Korn are here to stay. We are really happy to be in this partnership with them."

Added The Firm’s Jeff Kwatinetz: "Throughout their illustrious career, Korn has always blazed new ground, so it is no surprise that they are the right band for this unprecedented deal. We greatly admire and respect David Munns and Alain Levy, who have built their careers through forward thinking and risk taking, and we believe in the team they've assembled at Virgin. This deal represents the necessary evolution that our industry must make, aligning interests among bands, management and recording companies. In the process, Korn will get unparalleled artistic freedom and control in all areas of their career while still benefiting EMI. Instead of the typical fighting between artist and label over a small pie, we believe we have figured out how to dramatically increase the size of that pie.

Virgin Chairman/CEO Matt Serletic had this to say: "Korn's uncompromising and innovative approach to music has created some of the world's most intense, most memorable sonics, earning the band a deep, lasting and all encompassing bond with their fans. All of us at Virgin are thrilled to embark on a partnership with Korn, a band that not only defined a genre, but with this incredible new album, moves beyond it. While every other recording company spoken with made substantial offers, only EMI was willing to take the leap into making this model a reality."

Said frontman Jonathan Davis, "I always felt like I was working for a record company. Now I feel like we have a true partner. I'm looking forward to this new chapter in our career."

The story was broken right here on June 22 with the following verbiage: “Rap/metal veterans Korn, out of their Sony deal for some time now, have an album finished, and those few who have heard it say that it's great. A new deal said to be imminent as the band focuses on innovative types of arrangements emphasizing new media initiatives. Inside bettors have EMI as the early favorite, based on the precedent set by Robbie Williams' groundbreaking non-traditional deal.”

A month later, we filled in the details: “EMI/Virgin appears to be in position to close a deal with Korn. Said deal, for a reported $20 million, is for two albums and a one-third interest in the band’s publishing, merchandising and ticket sales as part of a new contractual model, a la Robbie Williams. The fine points are being hammered out by attorney Gary Stiffelman and manager Jeff Kwatinetz on the band’s side of the table, and by EMI N.A. head David Munns and Virgin topper Matt Serletic.”

The aforementioned album, the first under the new deal, will be released this fall at an as yet undetermined date.