September 13, 2005
Korn signs broad-based deal with EMI Music
By Chris Morris
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Top-selling alt-metal
act Korn has signed a broad-based deal with EMI Music that
gives the label an interest in the band's many revenue streams,
beyond money derived from the sale of its albums.
group's touring, music publishing, merchandising, sponsorship
and other activities including film, TV, book and videogame
A report said that the band is receiving a $15 million
upfront payment, but will surrender as much as a quarter of its
revenues to the music firm in return.
The group's first studio album in two years will be
released by EMI's Virgin Records later this year. It was
formerly signed with Sony BMG's Epic Records.
Korn lead vocalist Jonathan Davis said: "I always felt like
I was working for a record company. Now I feel like we have a
An arrangement like the Korn-EMI contract could prove
mutually beneficial to both the label and artist participants.
EMI will be able to derive hitherto unavailable income in a
climate of declining album sales. And Korn will be able to use
its partnership with the label as leverage to encourage bigger
spending on recording and promoting its work.
EMI -- currently fourth among the four major music
companies -- has wagered on the across-the-board profitability
of a major act before. The Korn agreement closely resembles one
forged in October 2002 between EMI and its most popular
international act, English vocalist Robbie Williams. Some
reports valued that deal as high as $125 million.
Korn has been one of the most popular hard rock acts of the
last decade, selling nearly 15 million albums domestically,
according to Nielsen SoundScan. It has been a force in the
touring market as well, creating and headlining the Family
Values Tour in 1998.
Jeff Kwatinetz, chief operating officer at the Firm, which
manages Korn, said in a statement: "This deal represents the
necessary evolution that our industry must make, aligning
interests among bands, management and recording companies. In
the process, Korn will get unparalleled artistic freedom and
control in all areas of their career while still benefiting
EMI. Instead of the typical fighting between artist and label
over a small pie, we believe we have figured out how to
dramatically increase the size of that pie."