Major Labels and Late-Night Talk Shows Are at War

Courtesy of comcast.com
Courtesy of comcast.com

Fans may no longer be able to view artists’ additional performances from the talk show circuit online. Major labels may ban talk shows from posting videos of their artist’s bonus performances. “Bonus” performances are considered performing outros, skits, or any additional performances beyond the artist’s one-song talk show commitment. For instance, some artists appear on talk shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallonand they perform a song as well as a comedy sketch.

The obvious reason for not allowing the talk shows to release the content online is related to money. The major labels are not receiving money from the talk shows, or hosting websites, when their artist’s performances are posted online. Popular talk shows such as Jimmy Fallon, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Conan, Jimmy Kimmel, and the Late Show With David Letterman, have all been allowed to post performances and bonus artist footage online. As a result, the videos are generating millions of views and the major labels are not receiving compensation.

The major labels cover the costs when their artists appear on these talk shows, which sometimes include big event performances like Van Halen’s multi-song set for Jimmy Kimmel Live! last month. For Van Halen’s concert, it reportedly cost the record label over $400,000 dollars in expenses. “Labels have the right to say ‘no we won’t give you permission to use that clip. Television programs don’t have the rights to put it in their own platform without a negotiation,” an insider told Billboard magazine.

The major labels understand that most young people are not watching their artist’s when they first appear on these talk shows, but they are watching the performances online on their tablets, cell phones, and other devices. On the other hand, some have argued posting the performances online helps build the artist’s brand, and that kind of exposure is vital. “Whether a viewer sees the performance on TV or in their Facebook feed, the same type of connection can be made. Having the online endorsement of a TV show promoting your artist is a strong marketing tool,” Big Machine Senior VP Jake Basden stated. In the end, the major labels may benefit from not allowing talk shows to post artist’s performances online, but it may end up being financially damaging for the artist. If the online ban does come into fruition, it will mean less exposure for recording artists. In a climate where artists don’t sell as many albums, it’s essential for the artists to get as much exposure as possible.

FDRMX Eyes: G.O.A.T. is a Swiss rock band comprised of five members. Check out their video “Dead Thing.”
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