Last Thursday, April 16th, Wikileaks published 30,287 documents and 173,132 emails from Sony Music. Amongst the thousands of documents, there are a few revealing details about Columbia’s new deal proposal to the artist.
The document goes into a lot of economical details (higher royalty rates, a $31-million advance, a contract extension until June 2027, etc), including details of the benefits the 2005 contract brought to Columbia ($73-million on top of the $101-million paid to Springsteen)
Most interesting for Springsteen fans are the details of the release plans for the next 12 years, which include 13 projects (besides the current Archival Series):
- 4 new studio albums (delivered at least 12 months apart)
- 1 anniversary box set, with 3 CDs, for the Born in the USA album
- 1 anniversary box set, with 3 CDs, for the The River album
- 1 anniversary box set, with 2 CDs, for the Nebraska album
- 1 box set with 3 or 4 discs with unreleased songs (the second volume of Tracks)
- 5 complete live-concert albums
(the box sets and live albums will be released at least 6 months apart)
The company proposes to release the Born in the USA box set first (considering the annual decline in sales of CDs), followed by The River box set, and last but not least, the Nebraska set.
One of the clauses specifies Springsteen «will have the right to sell downloads of his live concerts directly or through third parties». And if you’re wondering about the sound quality of the archival series, here is another detail indicated in the clause: «The artist and Columbia are to coordinate marketing and release plans for our respective live albums, with Columbia’s releases intended to be higher quality recordings».
Considering the archive releases started last November, it may well mean the agreement went forward, though there’s no official confirmation of that.
The new contract also specifies Springsteen has total control over the production of all recordings and their contents, and accepts the artists’ claim about «incorrect royalty calculations and improper deduction of foreign taxes» from Jan. 2007 to June 2012.
With the new deal Springsteen would stay at Columbia at least until June 30, 2027 (if he has delivered all 13 products by then) or two years after delivering the last of the products. In the emails between the Sony execs they admit «it’s obviously a rich deal given his stature», but «this is not an artist we can afford to lose».
WikiLeaks posts Sony emails; Springsteen Deal (Masslive.com)
Sony Leak. Bruce Springsteen Gets Rich New Contract (ShowBiz411)