Norwegian record companies will no longer participate in Eurovision Song Contest

by jorn on June 12, 2014

          This week main ESC players in Norway; Sony Music, Warner Music and indie label daWorks all stated that they will no longer take part in Eurovision Song Contest as long as the national tv station NRK and EBU are asking them to sign the current license agreement with EBU/Universal Music Denmark.
          The license agreement gives EBU/Universal Music the rights to release the ESC compilation as an unbundled digital product for download and streaming. This creates a situation with two identical products in the market released by two different record companies. The original record company who made all the investments will not only lose important revenue from the digital sales but also lose control over marketing and distribution. Artists, producers and record companies will get less than 50% of the digital sales revenues from EBU/Universal Music compared to what they would get if they had an exclusive release. The license agreement is far off any industry standard and violates the basic exclusive rights the master owner has in a recording. This is something the Norwegian record companies can’t accept.
          The new EBU license agreement also creates huge problems for the international marketing and distribution of the original product since no label will sign a license agreement when they can’t have exclusivity in the market. The same goes for major labels who has problems in getting their own local offices to work a product when it is not exclusive. This is a problem for everyone except for Universal Music and their ESC artists. This gives them an advantage and of course is not good for the competition. In the end this is not only damaging for the master owners, artists, producers, songwriters, music publishers and managers but it will also have a very negative effect on the total marketing outcome for Eurovision Song Contest since every local market will work a lot less with their products.
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Sony Music Norway this year represented Norway’s international entry “Silent Storm” with Carl Espen and also had no. 3 in the national Norwegian final. Warner Music represented no. 2 in the national Norwegian final, and daWorks represented Paula Seling & Ovi with “Mircale” from Romania. daWorks is a Norwegian indie that is also the music publishers behind the biggest Belgian ESC hit this year; “She’s After My Piano” with 2 Fabiola feat. Loredana.
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