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Want to get signed? Well, the labels want even more of a cut

Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. revealed to a Web 2.0 Summit audience that Warner (one of the big four major record labels in the world) now requires all new artists to sign "360" deals. This imposes artists (and reportedly a third of Warner's signed acts) to give labels a pre-arranged cut of merch sales, concert ticket profits, endorsements and anything else that pays the band. This is in addition to the standard "labels profit from CD sales" bag that's been going on since the stone age and the more recent "labels profit from digital downloads" business.

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Bronfman reportedly told the crowd that the label can't continue to profit from CD sales, which have reached increasingly dismal numbers over the past several years, and that 360 deals can ensure the labels' survival and the continued promotion of their artists. He also argued that the arrangements will allow the labels to give away more music to promote concert ticket and merch sales.

Are concert ticket and merch prices going to skyrocket? Are the labels finally finding a way to co-exist with illegal downloading, in-store exclusives and artists giving away their music for free online? Is this fair to the artists? Are 360 deals the future of the music biz? Am I out of questions?

Stay tuned.

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