Manager Reveals How Metallica & Red Hot Chili Peppers Are Getting Screwed Out Of Money


Q Prime’s Cliff Burnstein, who managed Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, The Black Keys, and Cage the Elephant, discussed how bands are not getting their ‘fair share’ of streaming revenue in a new All Access interview.

“Fair,” of course, is not an objective measure. “Fair” to one guy is “not fair” to another. I would say that many artists who have signed deals with major labels are not really getting their fair share, because streaming is treated the same as single-track sales under a lot of those contracts.

You have to start with the whole pie. Take the revenue generated by the streaming company, then a percentage of it is paid out to the labels. That percentage was pretty high, but even though they just cut it by three points or so, it can be an enormous amount of money. I’d say the total amount is fair in that the ratio is comparable to wholesale and retail prices we’ve had over the years with physical product. Digital downloads also had around the same percentage of revenue going to the labels.

But the streaming business model is not inherently super-profitable when paying all that out to the labels, because Spotify has yet to make money. So is that fair to the streaming companies? Spotify may say it’s unfair, as would Apple Music. From my perspective, if artists are only getting 15% of what comes in from Spotify to the label, that doesn’t seem fair to me. I don’t know what the exact percentage should be. It depends; some labels have done almost everything for the artist, while they have done hardly anything for others. The thing is, if the music world becomes entirely based on streaming, then the labels would have little if any manufacturing and distribution costs, and getting 85% while the artist gets 15% wouldn’t seem fair to me.

  • Ryan Toncheff

    Nothing in here talks of Metallica or the like! Misleading headline- fake news!

  • Omustgo

    Oh … look over there . It’s Lars Ulrich sitting by his pool. He looks sad ? Thats because he ordered a solid gold sharkfish tank. And do u know what ? Because of illegal downloading , Lars might not get that solid gold sharkfish tank for at least 3 months !!!! 3 months ! Do you know how long that is ???

  • Omustgo

    Anthony keidis . “I promise to obey &do whatever the hell the God Barack Hussien Obama tells me to do ….. “I swear” .

  • Omustgo

    Fuck Mettalica and the ass peppers . Fucking jerk offs

  • Frank Fortune

    First off, click bait. Secondly, if you don’t like what Spotify is offering, then DONT SIGN THE DEAL!! It’s that simple. Of course then you risk losing out on prime exposure to new younger markets that don’t listen to traditional radio…which he forgot to mention as an aspect of streaming. Whatever…adapt or die. Whining gets you nothing, ask Lars.

  • Trovoid

    Think about all of the poor bands that won’t get the chance to make a bunch of money like RHCP or Metallica. At least they made their fortunes before the music industry took a nosedive.

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  • john milks

    You guys are all funny. You attack the musicians and call them names. Sounds like you are defending the corporate execs making excessively more?? You don’t even know who these execs are. But your rationale sounds like you want them to make all the money?? Silly. EAT the RICH!!!