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