Over the weekend, we received this note from a voting Grammy member, and more importantly, a member of the independent artist and label community. It pertains to Billboard's Grammy Awards Voter Guide, which ships to all voting members and Billboard subscribers right after Christmas (we've cut out portions of the note to protect the confidentiality of the source).
The source is concerned that prohibitive indie 'deals' may very well skew the outcome of the Awards by favoring the wealthier (ie, major) labels and artists.
To: paulr @ digitalmusicnews .com
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2012
Re: Merry Xmas Indies! - New Grammy Roadblock For Independents
Hi Paul - love your website. Voting Grammy member here. I'm currently handling many independent artists. I prefer to remain anonymous. I believe that this time Billboard has gone too far to protect the interests of their major label clients. It is certainly a new roadblock for the independents. More of a concern that NARAS is behind this as well, noting that the Grammy awards are touted as 'free of the influence of record sales'.
For the first time, Billboard in association with NARAS is publishing a hard copy "Voter Guide" that will be included in the January 5th issue of Billboard. Allegedly this guide will also be mailed hard copy to all NARAS voting members. See for yourself....
On December 11 I received this email...
from: The Recording Academy <GRAMMY@grammy.com>
date: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 6:00 PM
subject: Billboard Voter Guide - Special Member Opportunity
Once again The Academy will team with Billboard to provide a special opportunity to members. Billboard’s 55th GRAMMY Awards Voter Guide will be sent to all members and provide you the ability to add extra awareness for your nomination, as well as special rates if you’re an independent artist. Please contact Billboard at the numbers provided for more information.
[Editor's note: In terms of rates, the source was presented with the following:]
Issue Date: Jan. 5, 2013
Distribution: Dec. 26, 2012
Ad Close: Dec. 14, 2012
Art due: Dec. 18
[The note continues...]
"As you can see the closing is tight....we just need an Insertion
- Note: How are these "special rates for independent artists"? With $8000, 99% of the independents would be well into their next record. This price seems completely out of proportion, even for independent labels, much less the indie artist. I've got some experience with ad rates, but never with prices presented as "special for independents".
Hoping you will find this of interest for Digital Music News.
_a concerned NARAS member"
jj Haggar Monday, December 17, 2012
Buy yourself a Grammy! Payola!
jmmanagement Monday, December 17, 2012
The Grammys are meaningless.
Casey Monday, December 17, 2012
$8000... That's going to take a lot of Spotify plays.
Visitor Monday, December 17, 2012
Did you see what it costs to falsify sales numbers to appear on their charts!?!?!
Bandit Monday, December 17, 2012
It's easy to poke fun at the Grammy's.
Yes they suck, but even a Grammy nomination translates into more money for mainstream "artists."
I feel sorry for any independent artist who even thinks about paying Billboard
wampusmm Tuesday, December 18, 2012
No, we didn't buy one.