Charlotte Church has cut short her business relationship with music investment firm Power Amp after just seven months. The singer’s management says that Church’s financial position has changed so that the partnership no longer makes commercial sense, while Power Amp say its alliance with the one time child star just “didn’t work out”.
As previously reported, last spring Church was the latest big name artist to shun a traditional record deal, and instead set up her own label backed by City money via the Power Amp fund to release her new album, last year’s ‘Back To Scratch’. Power Amp’s investors stumped up £2 million to fund Church’s latest record, and in return were due a cut of recording, publishing, live and other revenues for a certain time a period. Copyrights would stay with Church.
Although both sides insist the split was amicable, the Daily Mail says there were tensions between the Church camp and Power Amp, possibly over the artistic direction of the album, or possibly plans for a US tour. The album itself didn’t sell so well, despite Church’s proactive promo work around its launch, which may also have had an impact, though the singer’s management says both parties had decided to end their partnership before the record’s release.
It’s not clear how much of the £2 million investment Church has received, nor what will now happen regards any monies spent. It’s believed that under her Power Amp deal, Church must repay any money invested if the arrangement is terminated early, though both sides cited confidentiality clauses and refused to comment on whether the singer would or had paid any monies back to the investment fund.
Speaking to the Mail, Church’s spokesperson said: “All I can really say, because of the confidentiality issues, is that it was in Charlotte’s financial interests to [end the deal] before the agreement entered the second year of its term. This is typical for these type of deals, which are investment deals rather than record deals. I can also say that the decision to terminate the term early, which suited both parties, was made well before the commercial release of the album”.
Although Power Amp has scored some successes with its artist partnerships, most notably as backers of Madness’ recent activity, it does seem that artist deals with more conventional investors – at one point seen by some as an attractive alternative for artists to taking investment from a traditional record company – can come with their own issues.
And for investors even more so than for artists – as previously noted, entertainment investment fund Ingenious found investing in artists directly too risky, and has since moved into mainly backing live music ventures, in particular festivals.