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Entertainment Power Shift? March 19, 2004

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.

From a Journal story on the merger of talent management company The Firm with product placer Integrated Entertainment Partners:

From the artist-management side of the equation, the deal reflects the fact that some artists and their managers feel that the balance of power has tipped too far toward content-creation companies: record labels, film studios and television networks. Mr. (Jeff) Kwatinetz (Firm CEO) pointed to the increasingly common practice of record labels working with advertisers to place songs and musicians in advertising.

“We don’t believe that record companies should be controlling how and where the musicians’ brands are used,” says Mr. Kwatinetz. “We believe the musicians should.” The goal is “to rearrange the financial distribution in favor of artists, and also to give them more control creatively.”

The truth is, entertainment industry power shifted from studios, networks, and labels to artists, talent agencies, and management companies a long time ago. As these management companies start to play more of a production role, won’t the artists realize that they need their managers to have a healthy adverserial role? That they need a negotiator to get them the best deal every time?

They will. We’ve seen this cycle before. We’re probably starting the next one.

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