WMG Wants Nickelback

While rumors of a possible 360 deal between Warner Music and Nickleback continue to fly, recent analyst estimates of the group’s performance raise at least one question: Where would WMG get the dollars to secure such an agreement?

After spending $73.5 million for a 73.5 percent interest in Roadrunner Records and an $18 million misstep with Bulldog Entertainment last year, WMG may not be in the best position to write a big check to Nickelback – especially while the company faces scrutiny for its underperforming stock.

Sources reportedly close to the talks told the New York Post Nickelback has three albums left on its contract with Roadrunner, and may be looking to lock in a more valuable deal. Such an agreement could include the rights to the band’s master recordings and royalties from those albums, which have sold more than 16.3 million copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In exchange, WMG may aim for a 360 deal, to ensure cuts of Nickelback’s album, touring and merchandise sales for Roadrunner.

"They’d be getting a lot more rights, but they’d also be writing a lot bigger check," one source told the Post.

However, if Nickelback does decide to jump ship, the source told the paper that WMG would still hold some the band’s most valuable publishing assets through a longstanding deal.

"If re-signing [Nickelback] gets too expensive, we still own the publishing rights to their catalog," the source said.