The 360 deal, now a standard in new artist contracts, has got very little love over the years. In Wednesday’s “2010 WTF? The Agent Perspective” panel, the 360 deal was depicted as more of an acceptable partnership than a despised power grab.

Most conference panels on 360 deals are filled with negative sentiment. Why the difference? In this case, the panelists have had good experiences.

Ken Fermaglich, VP, the Agency Group, singled out one major. “Warner, in a general sense, seems to be leading the curve in understanding what happens in the touring business.” Bill McGathy, founder/manager at In De Goot Management, had good words for panelist Matt Young, senior VP of Merchandising, Warner Music Group/WEA. “In every case, Matt has improved our merch business.”

Eric Sherman, president, 10th Street Entertainment, voiced caution. There are differences between an active deal (the label is actively exploiting the artist’s rights) and a passive deal (the label takes a cut without doing anything). In active deals, he said, you can’t forget you’re dealing with large public companies with quarterly earnings reports. “That’s a dangerous position to be in when one company controls all aspects of your career.”


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