KANJANI8 - MUSIC STATION SP “TALK PART” & “TAKOYAKI IN MY HEART & MONJAI BEAT” 2013.12.27
MUSIC STATION SP 2013.12.27 (FULL SHOW) PART 1
Yeah, I did answer this a way back. Sorry for not answering, I thought my Tumblr app was just trolling me with old messages. ORZ.
Here, have a random gif for an apology.
Well, here’s my theory:
It’s the system.
The Japanese record industry runs on an archaic system, much like the rest of Japan. Johnny’s and Associates, along with every other “talent agency” out there still run things based on the music industry that ruled the West back in the 50s up until the mid 90s (when, at that point, artists started suing their record companies and breaking contracts). The contracts that these artists sign are exclusive contracts, meaning that the agency (ie; Johnny’s and Associates) has full and total exclusive control over all intellectual property produced by the signed act (ie: Kanjani8).
But what does that mean?
In a nutshell, Johnny and Associates owns everything that Kanjani8 does in some capacity. In a worst case scenario, it can be a 70/30 in which J&A owns 70% of what K8 produces (and in return, K8 only receives 30% of the remaining funds). Since we will never see these contracts, unless an previously signed Johnny writes a tell all book (and even then, the contract probably has terms that forbade them from disclosing the contents in risk of being sued), it could be a 50/50 or even a 60/40 type of deal. Hell, it could even be 80/20… or like with a TLC, 90/10.
So how does this all tie into releasing content onto the internet?
Okay, let’s just go with the idea that Kanjani8 is totally for the prospects of releasing their music videos online for the world to see. It would be easy for Kanjani8 to upload their videos onto Youtube and receive profit (much like GLAY), but, there’s a problem here.
Kanjani8 doesn’t own those music videos.
GLAY on the other hand does. Because GLAY owns all their content — their music label, their videos, their masters, everything.
Kanjani8, on the other hand, owns nothing.
Two companies own the intellectual rights to that music video: Johnny & Associates and Teichiku Entertainment. Kanjani8 will receive money for their work on the video but they do not own the video. The intellectual property, the copyright, is owned by those two companies. They are the ones that decide what happens with that video and how its distributed.
Because Kanjani8 is in an interesting situation that they are managed (ie, their appearances on tv, etc) by Johnny & Associates but their music is released and distributed by Teichiku Entertainment, an unrelated record label. By having their music released by a third party, it then reduces J&A’s control, slightly, over how the music’s distribution is handled. This is because the financial responsibility of this is shifted from J&A and onto Teichiku — Kanjani8 will not be a financial failure for J&A but rather for Teichiku.
With Teichiku now in the picture, the distribution decisions of K8’s music now changes. You will notice this with Teichiku releasing Blu-ray editions of Kanjani8’s concerts while Johnny’s Entertainment/J One/J Storm (the private owned distribution labels for J&A) do not.
But, if Teichiku can make those decisions, why can’t they simply upload K8’s videos on to youtube. Teichiku does have a Youtube channel afterall.
Because of the exclusivity that Johnny’s & Associates has over their talent itself. You see, Teichiku may have a larger interest in the music (let’s say that Teichiku carries 50%, J&A carries 40% and Kanjani8 walks away with a pathetic 10%), but J&A owns Kanjani8’s image. It’s basically a slave contract. Johnny’s and Associates literally owns the lives of Kanjani8 and controls their image and their careers in order to benefit the company not the artist.
This is why Johnny’s do not have twitter accounts, public blogs, or any other freely accessible access to them. J&A will not be able to have full and total exclusive control over their content, words, or actions. If you notice, since Koki’s left Johnny’s, he’s literally tweeting every hour with random nonsense while on the other hand, J&A cut Jin from posting on his twitter.
So in the contract that Teichiku has with J&A, there could be a clause preventing Teichiku of arbitrarily uploading any media content without prior approval from the agency.
Or, there could be a mutual agreement between both companies that agree there is no financial gain out of uploading Kanjani8’s music videos to Youtube. Both agencies would lose money on allowing the content on the website as it’s easily accessible to pirating.
I mean, the Youtube partner idea is nice but no profit can be made off of it. I don’t know how much it pays out, but let’s say they pay 2 cents per view. If Kanjani8 manages to break 500,000k views in one year, at 2 cents a view, that’s only 100,000 USD, which (at the currently weakening yen, less than 90,000￥). The financial risk for both companies is probably not even worth the copyright drama on both ends.
Now that’s for Music Videos. What about Varieties?
Well, it’s the same idea as the music videos except you take that pie and you split it again. This time, Kanjani8 doesn’t own anything and will gain nothing, financially, out of that appearance (except for the appearance fee they get, regardless, that is paid out by the TV studios to J&A).
The TV stations, in the most basic situation (and explanation), are buying the rights to Kanjani8. So, that means, they’re paying J&A to have Kanjani8 appear on their TV station to host a TV show. The TV station then pays K8 a regular salary for their work on the show. The TV station in return gets to own the intellectual rights plus distribution rights of the show. In this situation, the agreement is between J&A and the TV Studio, with K8 having a slight influence over the terms and conditions when it comes to payment and other needs directly affecting K8 themselves (such as transportation to and from the station, etc).
But, since J&A owns Kanjani8’s bodies, it would be impossible for the TV stations to actually distribute their shows on free platforms like Youtube without having to pay an extreme amount to compensate J&A for the potential financial loss. I mean, up until two years ago, TV stations were not even allowed to upload images of Johnny’s un-altered.
Kanjani8 <—- J&A <—-> TV Studio/Distributor
J&A wants to protect their investment and there’s no money to be made if it’s just freely available online. Even if Kanjani8 blows up in popularity due to their content being on Youtube (let’s say Takoyaki in my Heart becomes the next Ganam Style), going viral and getting a short term fanbase does not secure enough money to be worth the effort. Not only that, it’s obvious that J&A does not want to put much effort into expanding internationally unlike Kpop which does.
J&A’s company vision is all about creating National Idols, not International Idols. They could care less about the rest of the world. As long as they have dominance over an entire industry, they don’t see its worth the effort to start making contracts and deals to expand their talents elsewhere. Which is why, in a nutshell, Kanjani8 videos will never ever ever never ever enver never ever ever never ever in a million years be on Youtube.
Kanjani8 gets a monthly salary from J&A for their work plus bonuses for whatever endorsements and side appearances outside their contractual obligations to the company (reportedly, the base salary is around 45k a year + bonuses + profit made from tour goods).
J&A makes huge as bank off of K8 (that 4mil k8 sold in cds/blurays/dvds? lets just say J&A walked away with a huge chunk and split the remaining bill with k8 after teichiku took their chunk to cover the advances on the album and production — which is another rant for later)
The other companies get to play in Scrooge McKitagawa’s money stash too.
This is why K8 will never be on Youtube.
Arieru Press conference.