The row over who owns the rights and profits to the songs from the Eurovision Song Contest is intensifying, as more record companies are considering pulling their artists from the selection pool.

If you didn’t already know the story, here’s a quick rundown. Three Norwegian record labels have announced they will no longer allow their acts to take part in Melodi Grand Prix, so long as the current deal between the EBU and Universal Music Group continues. This deal means that Universal takes the profits from all sales made from the annual Eurovision albums – even if the acts are signed to other labels, who receive much less payment in kind.

Now, Sweden’s Aftonbladet has revealed that Sony Music in Sweden is also monitoring the situation and is threatening to boycott Melodifestivalen if something does not change. This would mean that we would lose future entries from big names such as Danny Saucedo, Lisa Miskovsky and…well, Thorsten Flinck (no word yet on the Revolutionorkestern).

Another example is Sanna Nielsen, who is signed to the Swedish Warner Music label, which has not yet commented on the matter. Many of the sales of “Undo” that saw her chart across Europe are believed to have been linked to the version released under Universal’s compilation deal, funnelling  more money to them.

Sony Music, which has divisions in every major market, is reportedly assessing its general position about its artists entering the Contest. It seems that this is not an issue that’s about to die down. If Swedish labels do join the boycott, the possibility of a domino effect happening across Europe seems rather real.

Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, has said that no record labels have filed any formal complaints over the situation. Not only that, in the Norwegian case, NRK “probably forgot” to tell the labels about the change! We could be in for a very tense “off season” indeed.

Image: Courtesy of chic.se

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DR
DR
6 years ago

I never buy the album, because I only ever want to listen to around ten.
Maybe either stop having an album, or give the profits to charity. It’s only fair.

eurovision-berlin
6 years ago

We pay taxes for a European music competition and then U.S. corporations can earn their money. Actually only smaller European label should give the chance to earn a little money.
In this sense: The constant incitement against non-NATO countries such as Azerbaijan, Russia and Belarus serves only the interests of American politics. They destroy Europe in every way.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

wow this is very bad if it ends to be true. EBU is slowly ruining Eurovision because they are greedy. OGAE fans should take control of this matter and protest against this “deal”. Eurovision fans should complain.

As far as i know, the digital compilation is available on all iTunes stores (minus North America and other regions which do not watch Eurovision i guess) but it sucks when you cannot download individually the song you prefer. Not everyone wants to buy the compilation (i do want but it’s not the case for those who aren’t fans)

Zach
Zach
6 years ago

I hope Sweden keeps the quality of songs up in Melodifestivalen and send great songs to Eurovision. Sweden always sends the best acts to Eurovision since 2001, except in 2005 when Nanne Grönvall should have been selected.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

I sent an email to eurovision.tv complaining that the Eurovision soundtrack was not available for digital purchase outside of Europe. (Of course this includes Australia, whose link to the contest the EBU celebrated this year.) I was told they were working on a solution for next year. But I wasn’t aware that there were further implications. It seems that the problem is that previously, certain songs were not authorized by their record labels to be sold individually in countries across Europe. If you look at the Amazon.co.uk link to the 2013 Eurovision soundtrack, a seemingly random selection of tracks is… Read more »

Deven O'Kearney
6 years ago

I love Sweden. I love watching Melodifestivalen and It is my favourite TV show. However, I can’t escape the feeling that Sweden is now going to start sending very poor quality songs to the Eurovision and hence, struggling to qualify and coming last a lot more often if this row continues. If the argument continues, Sweden will end up like Ireland.

Hopefully 2015 is not the start of a Eurovision disaster for Sweden.

Deven O'Kearney
6 years ago

If this row keeps going, we could see the exact same thing that has happened to Ireland since 2001 happen to Sweden.

Could 2015 see the start of Sweden’s ”Eurovision Nightmare”?

AnesBosna
AnesBosna
6 years ago

@dhani a country should be kicked out just because of your opinion?
Hah. Funny.

Ani
Ani
6 years ago

This is not for the songs only the recording of songs if I understand right!

Charles
Charles
6 years ago

@dhani: It’s bedtime! Go to sleep ….

David Thielen
6 years ago

And why does EBU/UMG get to keep all the profits from the presented songs?

Darren
Darren
6 years ago

If this row does continue, we could end up seeing a decline in talent from the untouchable Nordic countries.Sweden always sends established artists to eurovision and it always pays off. This could stop and they could do an “RTE” and send a load of “has – beens” or even “never-wheres”

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
6 years ago

I get the feeling that if this disagreement does serious start to threaten Melodifestivalen, a harmonious agreement will very quickly be reached.

Deven O'Kearney
6 years ago

You don’t have to be signed onto a record label to take part in Eurovision or Melodifestivalen.

dhani
6 years ago

sweden is my worst eurovision country they always send rubbish entries which suits well in the trashcan , boring entries and i think they should be kicked out of eurovision yes that how it is thank you very much yes