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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Pros and Cons of the Retainer Fee

Here at Love, Entertain, Live, the creative is number one.  It is only right to discuss a major issue with the artist once the art has brought in considerable capital.  All artistic professionals, graphic designers, painters, sculptors, musicians, vocalists, and even celebrity and sports figures have one thing in common: they have a team of professionals working day and night to keep them relevant and successful.

What’s this “retainer fee” you speak of?

Creatives need professionals like publicists, managers, accountants, and lawyers working behind the scenes.  Some professionals ask for a retainer fee for their services.  A retainer fee is a monthly or annual fee, paid out by the client.  It is a flat rate fee that usually ranges anywhere from $500 to $3000 monthly, depending on the extent of work and the quality or reputation of the professional providing the work.

The Pros to hiring someone on retainer:
1.     There is no limit to the tasks that need to be done. Once both parties agree on the extent of work and the retainer fee, the publicist or lawyer contributes accordingly.  Based on the Huffington Post, the publicists job is to present the artist to the world. 
2.     The retainer fee is usually a discounted amount, compared to the hourly rate. says that  as long as a client is using the discounted amount calculated hours, the retainer is worth it.  For example, if a lawyer requests a retainerfee of $3000 per month, at 10 hours per month, but the client only uses 5 hours a month, it may be cheaper if the hourly rate is only $350 per hour.
The cons to hiring someone on retainer:
1.     The employee does not have a vested interest.  If a publicist is hired to work on commission, that publicist is required to show results in order to receive payment.  In other words, if the artist does not make money, no one makes money. 
2.     It is expensive to have an employee working on retainer. It should only be done if income is steady. 

So what’s an artist to do? Start out simple.  Offer an affordable flat rate, with opportunities for commission throughout.  This allows both parties to test the waters and prove their dedication to the art itself.

Image Source: 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Live Nation Canada Stage Collapse

Live Nation is a huge worldwide concert, touring and merchandising giant.  They have changed the way the concert and merchandising industry thrives within the music industry.  With the change in music lovers’ buying behavior, Live Nation has attempted to change the business model and redirect where profit comes in.  As of now, the public is still waiting to experience the viability and profitability of this model. 

Live Nation has been in and out of entertainment news for a few years now. Just this weekend, news reports claim that Live Nation Canada has been sued for an accident at a Radiohead concert last year.  According to Rolling Stone, The Ontario Ministry of Labor brought up a suit against Live Nation Canada for a stage collapse that occurred last summer in Ontario.  Several charges were brought up against the concert promoter, while the remaining charges were brought up against the staging company responsible for building the stage for the event.  Radiohead’s drum technician died in the collapse, while several others were injured. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Live Nation fervently denies responsibility, for they claim they did their best to ensure safety at the event.  A company as big as Live Nation invests heavily in special event and liability insurance for situations just like this.  Resource Nation states that most businesses are sued by third parties, and every business should have liability insurance.  Liability insurance should be supplemented with special event insurance, because special event insurance covers more situations, like a fire, mob, or stage collapse.  Even if someone commits a DUI after a special event, the sponsoring business can be held liable for that individual’s actions.  It may seem extreme to blame Live Nation for most of the stage collapse, but the reality is, a company like Live Nation is well prepared to pay the fines associated with such a catastrophic occurrence.  

Image Sources: Live Nation Logo
                              Stage Collapse

Friday, June 7, 2013

Xbox One May Impact Our Television Viewing Experience

     The Xbox One has been revealed recently and has been in news articles and blogs alike.  Operating under the Windows OS (operating system).  This powerful system will allow for game play, video chatting, television and film   As a gaming console, the Xbox One will display “cinematic” and realistic graphics ( Games will automatically update in the background while gamers do other things.  In addition, the games will continue to “play”, even when the gamer is not.  This technology is considered the gamer’s “shadow”, and it will act how the gamer would normally play during gameplay.  So what does this mean for media?
streaming, applications, and web surfing.

    In our inundated age of media online, in print, in music, and in film, the Xbox One could be an interesting outlet for media publishing and distribution. It is incredibly easy to publish and share content with technology and access.  With technology like smart televisions and the Xbox One, viewing and enjoying entertainment content has become extremely personalized for the viewer.  No longer does a family have to purchase an expensive cable bundle to enjoy their favorite content.   Consumers can download applications and content that interest them. These alternatives deliver only the content the consumer desires. 

       With mass adoption, the Xbox One could open up the television to a new experience.  Our internet has allowed the knowns and unknowns, alike and unalike, to compete on a more level terrain.  If television can assimilate into this process, business models of major studios nationwide may crumble.  Although this sounds like a frightening time for entertainment publishing and distribution, it is also an exciting and defining time to live in.  Watching every moment unfold is a privilege for those living to see it.
Application developers for the Xbox One could easily release applications that showcase and recognize independent content creators, from filmmakers to musicians.