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More Deals Between Labels and Radio Coming


President & CEO of Big Machine Label Group Scott Borchetta tells Radio Ink more deals between his company and radio will be announced soon. Borchetta was the first record label CEO to start cutting side deals with radio where artists get paid directly for radio airplay. In return radio gets a break on digital airplay. The first agreement was made between Borchetta and Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman. Borchetta talks about his meeting with Pittman in the upcoming Country Radio Seminar issue of Radio Ink. Entercom also announced a new relationship with Borchetta's label, which just happens to represent the biggest superstar in music today, Taylor Swift. Here is a sneak peak at the upcoming interview with Borchetta.

Radio Ink: You follow Clear Channel up with Entercom, why not CBS, Cumulus, Townsquare, etc.?
Borchetta: There will be more. We are having conversations. We didn't want to look like pigs, to begin with, and it is not a leverage play or anything like that. It is just as these conversations come up, we have focused solely on one at a time. We are on the eve of announcing our third one. I think also, it is not hard to guess who the last ones in line are going to be. I haven't had a call from CBS wanting to do this. You just never know, but I think there are several to partner with before we get to a place where we get a couple of those last big ones.


Radio Ink: Why haven't any of the bigger labels followed your lead with radio?
Borchetta: It is easier for us to move. I don't have to check with anybody. When you get into a Universal or a Sony, there are more layers. One of the things that was a big appeal to Clear Channel with us, is they can really look at this as an experiment. Let's see if this works. Can we bridge the gap in digital with our encouraged growth on that end, that is going to ultimately make sense? I think you are also seeing - we wanted to be very friendly with the rates, and reach across the table and get the door open. Now, this is my assumption. This is not based on fact. My assumption is the major labels think that they can get a much bigger percentage. I wasn't so concerned about having a bigger percentage. I would rather be able to go to my artists now and say "We are the only label in Nashville that can pay you. You are going to get paid starting now." The broadcast companies, this is a big moment for them, much in the same way it was for record companies with Napster. Don't repeat our mistakes. We blew it. We totally blew it. Broadcasters can go "We see this coming. Let's deal with it."

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