Thursday, April 3, 2008

JAY-Z SIGNS LANDMARK $150 M MUSIC DEAL



Jay-Z plans to depart his longtime record label, Def Jam, for a roughly $150 million package with the concert giant Live Nation that includes financing for his own entertainment venture, in addition to recordings and tours for the next decade. The pact, expected to be finalized this week, is the most expansive deal yet from Live Nation, which has angled to compete directly with the industry’s established music labels in a scrum over the rights to distribute recordings, sell concert tickets, market merchandise and control other aspects of artists’ careers.

Live Nation’s core business has revolved around major rock and country tours, and with Jay-Z it is making an unexpected foray into hip-hop. The company is also placing an enormous wager on a performer who, like many others, has experienced declining record sales. (Last year’s “American Gangster” sold one million copies in the United States; “The Black Album,” from 2003, sold well over three million.)

But the arrangement would also position Live Nation to participate in a range of new deals with Jay-Z, one of music’s most entrepreneurial stars, whose past ventures have included the Rocawear clothing line, which he sold last year for $204 million, and the chain of 40/40 nightclubs.

His first undertaking with Live Nation is his current 28-date tour with Mary J. Blige, his biggest live outing in more than three years. After that, Live Nation envisions integrating the marketing of all Jay-Z’s entertainment endeavors, including recordings, tours and endorsements.

“I’ve turned into the Rolling Stones of hip-hop,” Jay-Z said in a recent telephone interview.

As part of the arrangement, Live Nation would finance the start-up of a venture that would be an umbrella for his outside projects, which are expected to include his own label, music publishing, and talent consulting and managing. Live Nation is expected to contribute $5 million a year in overhead for five years, with another $25 million available to finance Jay-Z’s acquisitions or investments, according to people in the music industry briefed on the agreement. The venture, to be called Roc Nation, will split profits with Live Nation.

The overall package for Jay-Z also includes an upfront payment of $25 million, a general advance of $25 million that includes fees for his current tour, and advance payment of $10 million an album for a minimum of three albums during the deal’s 10-year term, these people said. A series of other payments adding up to about $20 million is included in exchange for certain publishing, licensing and other rights. Jay-Z said Live Nation’s consolidated approach was in sync with the emerging potential “to reach the consumer in so many different ways right now.”
He added: “Everyone’s trying to figure it out. I want to be on the front lines in that fight.”

Though sales for Jay-Z’s tour with Ms. Blige have been strong since it began on March 22, with almost all the early dates resulting in sold-out arenas, it is unclear when Live Nation could carry out other aspects of the deal. (Jay-Z said that he hoped to deliver his final album for Def Jam later this year.)

Critics of Live Nation, which lost nearly $12 million last year, predict that it would be difficult to turn a profit on the arrangement, given the continuing decline in record sales and the mixed track record of artist-run ventures. Shares in the company have suffered since October when Live Nation negotiated a reported $120 million deal with Madonna.

Source: The New York Times

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SECURITY CENTER: Look Please Here