Yesterday, Billboard.com reported that the White Stripes were ready to sign a “long-term, multi-million dollar deal” with Warner Bros., effectively ending the band members’ brief stints as free agents (they were most recently on V2 Records, which divested itself last month). So now that Jack and Meg White have a new home, what on-the-market acts can expect to be courted in the upcoming months? After the click-through, our 100% speculative guide for wannabe label managers.
STATUS Fulfilled its six-album EMI contract years ago; currently recording a new album without a deal.
PROS Critical darlings with a rabidly devotional fanbase.
CONS Can be a bit prickly, not to mention unpredictable: Sign them up for a multi-album deal, and they might just turn in two records’ worth of toaster-oven feedback and slide-whistle bloops.
STATUS Left label-less after the V2 meltdown.
PROS Omnipresent knob-twiddler may not be selling as many records as he did in his Play days, but he remains a music-licensing goldmine.
CONS Omnipresent; knob-twiddler.
STATUS Two more albums left on the band’s Capitol deal, including this year’s Pull My Finger.
PROS Chris Martin’s songs fill radio playlists and big-seat stadiums around the world, and the band’s following includes everyone from alt-rock nerds to cool moms.
CONS They’ll make you rich, but you’ll spend half your time fetching nappies and lobbying for free-trade toilet paper.
ARTIST Michael Jackson
STATUS After a career on Epic, signed up with Bahrain-based indie Two Seas Records; deal didn’t take long to dissolve.
PROS Artists still love him: If the will.i.am-produced album goes as planned, expect plenty of big-name guest stars. Considering his track record, he could mount a comeback.
CONS Considering his track record, he could also mount a seven-year-old.