Open Letter To MTV From The Independents Of Europe The End Of Independent Music On MTV's European Networks
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Artists and labels across Europe have come together to protest at the way in which MTV has tried to get independent record companies to provide videos of their artists at a rate which is far less than their economic and cultural value and less than half the previous rate. Independent artists and record companies object to the high-handed way in which MTV is trying to reduce its costs.
If MTV loves music and artists, this is not the way to treat them. MTV has now threatened to take off air all videos produced by independent labels that refuse to agree its new terms.
In our opinion, the terms being offered by MTV are totally unacceptable, being:
Less than half the fees payable under the previous deal, but for an increase in the number of television channels.
New rights thrown in, including the right to use our videos online and on mobiles - all for the same flat fee, regardless of MTV's dollars (since withdrawn).
The proposed new deal runs forever - no R.P.I increase, no more fees for EC accession countries, nor for any new channels you create or acquire.
MTV says that the promotion compensates for the value. No one denies that play on MTV may be beneficial, but it should be recognised that the labels provide MTV with its core content and so should be effectively recompensed at competitive commercial rates.
MTV is likely to earn millions out of deals with mobile phone operators, advertisers, sponsors and consumers – without any further payment currently offered to the music makers who make these deals possible except the flat fee offered, less than half the old rate.
We find the MTV claim that it values independent music to be totally at odds with its actions. We are certain that the vast majority of fans throughout Europe would agree with this. An MTV without the likes of The White Stripes, 2 Many DJs, Dizzee Rascal, Carla Bruni, Rasmus, Franz Ferdinand, Travis, Moloko, Mis-Teeq, So Solid Crew, Martina Topley Bird, Badly Drawn Boy, Craig David, Coldcut and The Prodigy will be much poorer and will short-change the fans. An MTV without labels like PIAS, Naďve, Ninja Tune, Telstar, Beggars, Independiente, Rough Trade, Echo, Domino, Ministry of Sound, XL Recordings and many others will be just like any other mainstream pop channel. Good luck, MTV!!
Finally, we have stood by and watched companies like MTV become vast, profitable and successful broadcasters. Without music, MTV would not exist, and yet we get a comparatively tiny return from their use of our videos. It is time the music makers stood up for themselves to re-establish fair value for their work. We value MTV – we wish they would value us in the same way.
The independent labels from across Europe including France, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and the UK.
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