Morgan Wallen, Big Loud and a nice financial payday

Morgan Wallen’s record label must be absolutely delighted by all the publicity he’s getting at the moment. This seems like an outrageous statement, on the face of it – that the fallout from him stupidly shouting a racial slur would please his label. So allow me to explain.

Observe the reactions from the music world. Radio stations all over the place have taken him off their playlists. Spotify has done the same thing. His own label has suspended him. This is all meant to hurt him, right? Well, it depends what the public do in response – and I wonder if the industry expected what has happened?

Sales of his physical album are UP since last week. Ah, the beauty of being in a genre where physical media still sells! His streaming numbers are also UP significantly since last week. And who is going to benefit the most from this?

Why, only the record label. If he’s on the more traditional contract where the label own all your masters and take 80% of your money, they could make a lot of money here. If he’s on a contract where he owns the masters but licenses them out, the licensor benefits significantly at this time.

And sure enough, what will happen now? Whilst Wallen and his record label count up the money, he’ll work on some new music in the background. His label will say he’s “reflecting” on this and will leak out the message to friendly journalists that “he’s not a bad person, it’s the fault of the drink”.

Then in a few months time, it’ll come out that he’s no longer suspended and has a new album coming soon or something. Which judging by the last week, the public and his fans – who generally couldn’t care less about rows like this – will buy up in droves.

Perhaps I should say something really offensive if Richie is hoping to drive up my sales and streams on 3rd Way?