Universal Music and “American Idol” Join Forces

19 Entertainment and American Idol creator Simon Fuller, and Universal Music Group (UMG), today announced a long-term strategic alliance to increase the development, distribution and marketing of American Idol’s musical artists. The announcement, which marked an abrupt end to Idol’s nine-season relationship with Sony Music, was made by Doug Morris, Chairman & Co-Chief Executive Officer of UMG, Lucian Grainge, Co-Chief Executive Officer of UMG, and by Simon Fuller on behalf of 19 Entertainment.

As part of this multi-year agreement, UMG’s Interscope Geffen A&M will market, promote and distribute albums globally from American Idol’s finalists and winning contestants across a broad array of retail and new media platforms. Recently, American Idol kicked-off auditions for its 10th season in Nashville and Milwaukee. Upcoming auditions will be held in Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey and California.

“With Idol celebrating our 10th season I wanted to inject some new power and weight behind our brand,” Fuller said. “We have been quietly delivering hits relentlessly for nine seasons and Lucian Grainge and Jimmy Iovine’s (Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M) ambition, commitment, and determination to push the boundaries and go even further with Idol was very compelling. It is exciting to have the world’s biggest show partnered with the world’s biggest music company.”

“We like delivering hits and new artists,” stated Grainge. “UMG and American Idol is the right combination at the right time. Pairing the renowned expertise of Simon and Jimmy in developing and marketing musical talent creates a truly winning combination that will allow Idol’s artists to realize their fullest potential.”

Since its debut in 2001, America Idol has been responsible for selling more music than any other TV show in history, with over 100 million units in North America alone and over 120 million songs on iTunes.

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