Madonna Remaking the Brand
The Material Girl is about to ensure that she has more material than ever to market in the coming decade, Natalie Finn writes on E! Online commenting yesterday’s reports from the WSJ.
Madonna is reportedly poised to leave her longtime recording home, Warner Music Group, to ink an ultra-lucrative $120 million, 10-year deal with the concert-promoting behemoth Live Nation Inc. that would net her cash, stock options and a one-stop shop for recording, touring, licensing and merchandizing deals.
In an attempt to keep the superstar within the fold, Warner Bros. Records tried to bring TicketMaster parent IAC/InterActiveCorp. on board so that it could also offer Madonna a deal that encompassed both touring and recording – a proposition that is looking increasingly attractive for labels these days as less and less money is brought in from album sales.
Warner Music Group doesn’t seem to be shedding too many tears over the shakeup, probably not least because it will retain the rights to Madonna’s song catalog dating back more than 20 years. Her first album for Warner Bros. was her self-titled 1983 debut, which has sold more than 10 million copies. Her sophomore effort, Like a Virgin, has sold more than 21 million.
“Warner has demonstrated extremely savvy financial discipline with regard to the deals it enters into and, as importantly, the deals it doesn’t enter into,” Brian Posner, chief executive of one of Warner’s shareholders, told the WSJ.
While the massive deal is risky for Live Nation, tour sponsorships and licensing fees from mobile phone companies to access Madonna’s music will likely offset some of the costs; however, per the WSJ, industry insiders have said that each of the singer’s three Live Nation-released albums would have to sell at least 15 million copies for the promoter to recoup its investment on the recording contract alone.
Which could happen, considering Madonna’s chart success has been steadier than most in recent years.
Her 10th studio album, 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor, sold 11 million copies worldwide, 1.7 million of them in the U.S.
The 49-year-old entertainer, who last month made it onto the ballot for next year’s Rock and Roll of Fame inductions, still has to cut another album for Warner Bros. and release a greatest-hits compilation before she’s free to record for Live Nation. But if both the quality and quantity of Madonna’s creative output over the last decade is any clue, she’s probably already got plenty of ideas up her sleeve for the next 10 years.
From E! Online via Yahoo!.