Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ Amplifies Discord in the Music Business

Ben Sisario, reporting for the NYT:

Despite its idiosyncratic format, “Endless” — one long streaming film, whose songs (different from those on “Blonde”) were not available separately — fulfilled Mr. Ocean’s contractual obligations to Def Jam, enabling him to release “Blonde” through Apple without any involvement from the label, according to three people with knowledge of Mr. Ocean’s deal who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. The financial arrangement between Mr. Ocean and Apple is not known. Apple, Def Jam and a representative for Mr. Ocean’s managers all declined to comment.

Record labels, more and more, are unnecessary middlemen, especially for well-known acts.

Friday, 26 August 2016