The Beatles: Rock Band hits stores this Wednesday.
And while most consumers are likely focusing on playing along with the band at Shea Stadium — or the 45 songs being made available in a video game for the first time — it was the reported $10 million advance with $40 million in potential royalties that caught my eye.
That’s more than most record deals with major artists — and it rivals recent deals cut with blockbuster stars.
Here are a few examples:
- Universal Music Group/The Rolling Stones. In July, 2008 Universal Music lured The Rolling Stones from long-time parent EMI for three new albums and the right to release albums from the band’s catalogue since 1971 (the majority of its most popular songs) for five years. For this it paid a $15 million advance.
- Live Nation/Madonna. In late 2007 Live Nation paid Madonna an $18 million signing bonus for the exclusive rights to three albums, exclusive touring rights, and a cut of merchandise sales.
- Live Nation/Jay-Z. In a multi-rights deal like the one made with Madonna, Live Nation paid Jay-Z a $25 million signing bonus in April 2008.
To be sure, The Beatles are not your average band and we likely won’t see newer bands signing deals like this. But the kind of money MTV’s Harmonix paid for the rights is unlike any other seen in the video game business when it comes to music — and for just one revenue stream tied to the band.
Live Nation, for example, gets a cut of everything from record sales, publishing, to lucrative touring revenue.