via press release:
Universal Music Group (UMG) Enters into Long-Term Agreement with 19 Entertainment For 'American Idol'
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 3 -- 19 Entertainment and Simon Fuller, creator of 'American Idol,' television's biggest entertainment program for the last nine seasons and one of the most globally recognized entertainment brands, and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's leading music company, today announced a long-term strategic alliance to increase the development, distribution and marketing of 'American Idol's' musical artists. The announcement was made today 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 milestone 10th season as the excitement and renewed interest in the show resulted in over 26,000 hopefuls coming out for their shot at the coveted Idol crown in Nashville and Milwaukee. Upcoming auditions will be held in Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey and California.
Mr. Fuller comments: "With Idol celebrating our 10th season I wanted to inject some new power and weight behind our brand. We have been quietly delivering hits relentlessly for 9 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 Mr. 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.
About 19 Entertainment
19 Entertainment is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CKX, Inc (Nasdaq: CKXE) and is recognized as a creator, provider and promoter of globally successful, contemporary entertainment brands with a portfolio of interests that include television, touring, merchandising, music publishing, recording and artist management. 19 Entertainment has developed and managed some of the biggest entertainment properties of our time, with credits that include the creation of TV phenomenon American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance and the HBO series Little Britain USA. 19 Entertainment's clients include legendary musical icon Annie Lennox, country music sensation Carrie Underwood, the pop group sensation Spice Girls, Idol alumni Chris Daughtry and David Cook.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world's leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry's leading global music publishing operation.
Universal Music Group's record labels include A&M/Octone, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Polydor Records, Show Dog – Universal Music, Universal Motown Republic Group, Universal Music Latino and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world's most popular artists and their recordings. UMG's catalog is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, its new media and technologies division; Bravado, its merchandising company; and Twenty-First Artists, its full service management division.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.
About Interscope Geffen A&M Records
Combining the legacies of three of the most influential record labels in modern music history, Interscope Geffen A&M Records embarked on a new tradition of musical achievement with its unification on January 1, 1999. Headed by Chairman Jimmy Iovine, Interscope Geffen A&M is a major force in global music, developing chart-topping artists across a wide range of musical genres including rock, rap, pop and alternative. Interscope Geffen A&M Records is part of Universal Music Group, the world's largest music company.