This is why I don't get why many people insist he had much more negotiation power this time. Yeah he's not 16 out of a reality show with no other means to enter the industry and he does have an amazing team behind him but still. That might not mean much. Contracts are lingering effects and your post about the possible clauses his contract had makes it very clear his negotiation power might have been very limited. We'll see what he gets in return for this deal tho. Specially on a personal level
It may have been limited, but not that much. He’s about as close to a slam dunk signing as there is – biggest star from the biggest band of the last half decade. Many labels wanted him and probably offered him great deals that he could negotiate. All he had to do was find another label willing to give him what he wanted and Columbia had to match that. It’s not just money – matching means other things, too.
I once worked on a deal that involved a client that produced regular sports entertainment shows that had been aired on a particular network of tv channels. When that deal ended, that network had a matching right, but another network offered more prime time shows on their flagship channel. Not more money, but better placement. The old network chose not to match and so the company went with the new network. Had they matched, however, the company would have had a better deal than their old one.
I do think that Harry’s deal was probably a result of contractual limitations and that given free choice, he probably wouldn’t have chosen Columbia. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad deal, though, nor that it’s anything like what he used to have. He was in a far far far better negotiating position for this than for the earlier deal, even if it wasn’t the perfect position.