I don't know enough about these deals to really comment, but I do have an immediate reaction (which could shift as I learn more about them). After years of feeling that the major labels have taken SERIOUS advantage of artists and their fans, I'm extremely skeptical of this new model. To combat my disdain for the majors, instead of focusing on buying my favorite bands' new recordings, I've tried to get my money direct to the artists. I have done this by going to shows, picking up a t-shirt at almost every show and trying to get my expendable "music cash" direct to the artists.
With majors now looking to take increase artists' share of cd/digital sales (something they should have done decades ago), I find it somewhat deplorable that they're looking to milk the artists of their true direct revenue sources: live shows and merchandise. If this takes hold, and the bands I love fall into this apparent trap, I really won't know how to financially support the artist's I love. If the majors will now grab 30% of concert tickets and merchandise, I can only imagine that I won't be spending NEARLY as much money on these things. Which is a damn shame. I love going to see live music, and I love to pick up a new t-shirt knowing that a good portion of that $15-$20 is going direct to the band.
This sounds like the same old song and dance from the major record labels. After shutting down the original Napster and doing everything imaginable to destroy unique and creative business models, I am extremely skeptical about this. As the majors try to make it appear as if they're changing their tune, they continue to push the RIAA to sue those who truly love music.
Again, I need to learn more about this model. But if it's what it sounds like, I can't urge artists enough to avoid the majors. Go with an indie label that would truly develop your career and treat you fairly. Or find a great manager, booking agent and publicity company and go it alone.
Fans desperately want to be able to support the artists that they love. Fans no longer want these huge, greedy corporations in the way. We want you to continue to deliver your art and we want to support YOU. Let us do that.