Cris, would you agree that it appears Harry had quite a bit of say in setting up this tour the way he wanted. Would you agree and is that due to him having a distribution deal or is that completely separate from Columbia?
I do agree that this tour is on his terms and I would venture a guess that his deal with Columbia guaranteed him the right to set his own terms for touring.
But those terms could have been written into a standard recording deal. Contracts can literally say anything you want them to say, so I think people are putting way too much on this “distribution deal = freedom” idea.
The distribution deal means he gained less money up front for long term ownership of his masters and, very certainly, more creative freedom.
But the nuts and bolts of the deal, who decides when the album is released, what is the concert tour going to look like, etc. is just stuff that would have been written into a contract either way.