Fans of the White Stripes and the Strokes will not be able to see their favorite rockers on video music channel MTV Europe come April 1, as talks between the two sides have broken down over a new lice
Fans of the White Stripes and the Strokes will not be able to see their favorite rockers on video music channel MTV Europe come April 1, as talks between the two sides have broken down over a new licensing agreement.
A contingent of Europe's independent music labels said they will hold a press conference on Wednesday announcing plans to boycott the network once the current four-year contract lapses at the end of March.
Europe's independent labels, which account for 22% of Europe's music market, had been negotiating a contract extension with MTV via bargaining group Video Performance Limited (VPL). The VPL represented hundreds of artists that also include the Prodigy, Lemon Jelly and Feeder.
MTV Networks Europe, owned by American media conglomerate Viacom Inc., is a rare success story in the slumping music industry.
The network's profitable European operation has expanded rapidly as its viewer base has grown to over 115 million homes across the continent. Over the past three decades, the music video channel has been credited with breaking numerous new acts.
A source close to the negotiation said talks broke down when MTV Europe offered to pay 840,000 pounds ($1.55 million) per year -- down from the current annual fee of 1.9 million pounds.
The network also wanted rights to broadcast songs on mobile phones and the Internet, the source said, adding they later backed off this demand.
"Basically, they are asking for more and want to pay less," the source said.
MTV Europe COO Simon Guild would not comment on the terms of the stalled negotiation.
He added: "They came in with a figure where they wanted to multiply the [license fee] by 2.5. We said, 'If prices are going to be that high, what if we pay less.' "
Guild said since the breakdown of talks, the network has signed up 35 independent labels. He would not say with whom nor which artists were included.
"We've given up completely on dealing directly with VPL," said Guild. "We are trying to make direct agreements. The problem we have is that one or two of them decided they don't want to talk to us on principle."