Perez Hilton’s Imprint With Warner: Slightly Less Wasteful Than Setting A Pile Of Cash On Fire?

noah | February 26, 2008 10:30 am

So you’re Warner Music Group. You’re smarting because your stock price is in the toilet, one of your marquee artists is leaving for heretofore unproven ground, and you’re still pinning your hopes on people eventually remembering that James Blunt exists. Also, you’re still smarting from wasting a bunch of money on a concert-promotion company that wound up being little more than a front for throwing celebrity-studded parties on your dime. So what do you do to turn things around? How about throwing money at a self-obsessed blogger with flattening pageviews, rudimentary MS Paint skills, and a track record of getting more than one percent of his users to buy albums by the artists that he waxes rhapsodically about?

Mr. Lavandeira has been negotiating a deal that would provide him with his own imprint at Warner Brothers Records, a division of the music giant Warner Music Group, he said. This was confirmed by several other people associated with the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity because no deal has been made. The talks are preliminary, and an agreement is not certain, but Mr. Lavandeira could receive $100,000 a year as an advance against 50 percent of any profits generated by artists he discovers and releases through Warner Brothers, these people said.

A lawyer for Mr. Lavandeira and representatives of Warner Brothers declined to comment on the negotiations.

Though the agreement under discussion would represent a small sum for Warner Brothers, it would help support Mr. Lavandeira’s claims that he has an ear for more than the latest celebrity scoop. More than that, though, a label deal for Mr. Lavandeira, whose Web site draws an estimated 2.8 million visitors a month, according to ComScore Media Metrix, would be a recognition of the influence that blogs can wield in generating word of mouth about music.

Later in the article, one of Perez’s pets claims that visits to her band’s MySpace page “tripled” after he promo’d the band on his site, leading one to believe that this new imprint will in fact go beyond the idea of the 360 deal and allow the label share in ad revenue from MySpace pages–or at least get paid by the pageview? On the bright side, though, “Mr. Lavandeira” claims that he’s going to be “really actively involved” in the label–which might mean that he’ll have less time for blogging! (Hey, just trying to stay positive.)

Perez Hilton Could Play New Role: A&R Man [NYT] [Photo: AP]