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Does Bruce make $$ from E Street Radio?


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Between High Hopes and the downloads, Bruce has been in heavy rotation at home and in my car lately, so I decided to take a break for a little bit and am currently listening to some of the other dedicated channels on Sirius XM, like Margaritaville. Knowing that Jimmy Buffett turned a modest hit into a huge brand, I can't help thinking that he is making some decent moolah off this channel; they broadcast from Margaritaville restaurants, he records promos for them just like Bruce does, etc.

E St. Radio is kind of a different animal in that they play a lot more outtakes, live versions and concerts (although Margaritaville plays entire Buffett shows as well). Still, there is clearly a symbiotic relationship between Bruce and Sirius XM.

So it just made me wonder if Bruce gets a cut of the pie every month or not. It's interesting because there isn't any advertising revenue on those channels (I think there is on some of the other channels, or maybe it's just the "analog" stations that they carry, a la I Heart Radio), so it would all have to be subscriber based...

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There are those more informed than me who could probably better answer your question, like Legalwiz. I would guess that it would depend on the licensure of the E Street brand. Does Bruce own it? If so, then I think the answer would be yes, as they are using his brand and his music to make money. You could also argue that Bruce indirectly profits via the promotion of the music, shows, etc. Subscribers hear a song they've never heard, then either buy it or the album from which it originates.

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Between High Hopes and the downloads, Bruce has been in heavy rotation at home and in my car lately, so I decided to take a break for a little bit and am currently listening to some of the other dedicated channels on Sirius XM, like Margaritaville. Knowing that Jimmy Buffett turned a modest hit into a huge brand, I can't help thinking that he is making some decent moolah off this channel; they broadcast from Margaritaville restaurants, he records promos for them just like Bruce does, etc.

E St. Radio is kind of a different animal in that they play a lot more outtakes, live versions and concerts (although Margaritaville plays entire Buffett shows as well). Still, there is clearly a symbiotic relationship between Bruce and Sirius XM.

So it just made me wonder if Bruce gets a cut of the pie every month or not. It's interesting because there isn't any advertising revenue on those channels (I think there is on some of the other channels, or maybe it's just the "analog" stations that they carry, a la I Heart Radio), so it would all have to be subscriber based...

Yes, Springsteen earns money from E Street Radio (and all other USA-based terrestrial and non-terrestrial radio stations) in the form of various royalties paid to him each time one of his songs and/or one of his recordings is broadcast. Springsteen has a special contractual arrangement with E Street Radio (or its parent entity) that allows them to broadcast commercially unreleased Springsteen material. Other radio stations can't legally broadcast that commercially unreleased material unless they get Springsteen's authorization.

In the USA who gets paid a radio station broadcast royalty currently differs between TERRESTRIAL radio and NON-TERRESTRIAL radio. When a recording of a song is commercially broadcast by a radio station:

the owner of the musical copyright of the song (i.e., "the music")..........is paid a royalty by both TERRESTRIAL and NON-TERRSTRIAL radio stations

the owner of the literary copyright of the song (i.e. "the lyrics")..............is paid a royalty by both TERRESTRIAL and NON-TERRESTRIAL radio stations

the owner of the sound recording copyright (I.e. "the audio track")........is paid a royalty by NON-TERRESTRIAL radio stations...but...TERRESTRIAL radio stations don't pay any royalty

the performer of the audio track (i.e. "the artist")....................................is paid a royalty by NON-TERRESTRIAL radio stations...but...TERRESTRIAL radio stations don't pay any royalty

Bruce Springsteen owns the musical and literary copyrights to all his compositions and owns the sound recording copyrights to all** his recordings. So Bruce is receiving all four of the royalty revenue streams.

** the copyrights to the sound recordings made by the early groups that Bruce was a part of (The Castiles, Steel Mill, etc )....ownership is likely to be equally shared between the members of those groups (unless behind the scenes Springsteen has/will buy the other members' slices of that pie).

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Bruce Springsteen owns the musical and literary copyrights to all his compositions and owns the sound recording copyrights to all his recordings. So Bruce is receiving all four of the royalty revenue streams.

I was wondering: Don't they play audience recordings of his shows as well? That's his music, too, but they're not his recordings, are they?

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Bruce Springsteen owns the musical and literary copyrights to all his compositions and owns the sound recording copyrights to all his recordings. So Bruce is receiving all four of the royalty revenue streams.

I was wondering: Don't they play audience recordings of his shows as well? That's his music, too, but they're not his recordings, are they?

The actual physical product (i.e. the tape and its housing) may not be Springsteen's... :unsure: ....but the copyright to the sound recording imbedded on the tape is his. And copyright is king.

Lets take a real-world example:

Suppose I had audience-taped one of Springsteen's shows - doesn't matter the year, it could have been in 1973, or in 2013. The tape is mine and I could actually sell that tape to someone as a one-off sale - as a collector's item. Perfectly legal. HOWEVER I don't own the sound recording copyright so I cannot commercially exploit the recording - i.e., I can't make 10, 100, 1,000, 100,000 copies of the tape and sell them. That's when one marches into the realm of being an illegal bootlegger.

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Between High Hopes and the downloads, Bruce has been in heavy rotation at home and in my car lately, so I decided to take a break for a little bit and am currently listening to some of the other dedicated channels on Sirius XM, like Margaritaville. Knowing that Jimmy Buffett turned a modest hit into a huge brand, I can't help thinking that he is making some decent moolah off this channel; they broadcast from Margaritaville restaurants, he records promos for them just like Bruce does, etc.

E St. Radio is kind of a different animal in that they play a lot more outtakes, live versions and concerts (although Margaritaville plays entire Buffett shows as well). Still, there is clearly a symbiotic relationship between Bruce and Sirius XM.

So it just made me wonder if Bruce gets a cut of the pie every month or not. It's interesting because there isn't any advertising revenue on those channels (I think there is on some of the other channels, or maybe it's just the "analog" stations that they carry, a la I Heart Radio), so it would all have to be subscriber based...

Yes, Springsteen earns money from E Street Radio (and all other USA-based terrestrial and non-terrestrial radio stations) in the form of various royalties paid to him each time one of his songs and/or one of his recordings is broadcast. Springsteen has a special contractual arrangement with E Street Radio (or its parent entity) that allows them to broadcast commercially unreleased Springsteen material. Other radio stations can't legally broadcast that commercially unreleased material unless they get Springsteen's authorization.

In the USA who gets paid a radio station broadcast royalty currently differs between TERRESTRIAL radio and NON-TERRESTRIAL radio. When a recording of a song is commercially broadcast by a radio station:

the owner of the musical copyright of the song (i.e., "the music")..........is paid a royalty by both TERRESTRIAL and NON-TERRSTRIAL radio stations

the owner of the literary copyright of the song (i.e. "the lyrics")..............is paid a royalty by both TERRESTRIAL and NON-TERRESTRIAL radio stations

the owner of the sound recording copyright (I.e. "the audio track")........is paid a royalty by NON-TERRESTRIAL radio stations...but...TERRESTRIAL radio stations don't pay any royalty

the performer of the audio track (i.e. "the artist")....................................is paid a royalty by NON-TERRESTRIAL radio stations...but...TERRESTRIAL radio stations don't pay any royalty

Bruce Springsteen owns the musical and literary copyrights to all his compositions and owns the sound recording copyrights to all** his recordings. So Bruce is receiving all four of the royalty revenue streams.

** the copyrights to the sound recordings made by the early groups that Bruce was a part of (The Castiles, Steel Mill, etc )....ownership is likely to be equally shared between the members of those groups (unless behind the scenes Springsteen has/will buy the other members' slices of that pie).

Thank you to Earthslayer and others who responded. Of course, I ask the question and then go camping for the weekend and can't check the responses!

I should have mentioned in my initial post that what I was really curious about was if an arrangement might exist above and beyond royalties. Returning to the Jimmy Buffett example, it seems that there is also a licensing of the Margaritaville brand at play there. Beyond his name, Bruce doesn't really have a "brand" he can license like that... does he?

That said, Earthslayer broke down the royalty situation very nicely. I wasn't aware of the different categories of radio (terrestrial v. non-terrestrial). Much appreciated. I guess, when you consider the royalty issue, the whole station is a 24/7/365 revenue stream for Bruce.

It's interesting that E St. Radio has exclusive access to outtakes, demos, etc., that no one else can legally play. I agree with Earthslayer that there has to be some compensation arrangement in place for that. Above and beyond the royalties paid for commercially released material, this arrangement might be the real differentiator in this case.

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