Business Matters: The Problem With Pete Townshend's 'Digital Vampire' Vision of iTunes
Business Matters: The Problem With Pete Townshend's 'Digital Vampire' Vision of iTunes

Pete Townshend has struck a deal with Spirit Music Group that gives the publishing company Townshend entire interest in his solo material and his material with The Who, including mega-tracks "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Baba O'Riley." In addition, Townshend will sign on as a consultant with Spirit to work toward the promotion of his catalog and to explore film, television and advertising licensing for his music that would extend into brand partnerships and multimedia and stage shows that will help showcase his songs.

The overall goal of the deal was to help consolidate the interests of Spirit, Townshend, his management team Trinifold, his record label Universal Music Group and TRO, the original publisher of his music in a way that would provide seamless marketing and promotion for the music and Townshend's legacy going forward.

Some of the projects that Townshend has already committed to in 2012, including the "Quadrophenia - The Director's Cut" box set that he curated and an autobiography set to come out in September, will be paired with multimedia and marketing efforts led by Spirit as part of the new partnership.

"We're thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to work closely with Pete in the care taking and promotion of his life's work, and to help inspire his future successes," said Mark Fried, CEO of Spirit Music Group, in a press release, while Townshend was equally optimistic.

"I am very excited about my new relationship with Mark Fried and his team at Spirit. I feel that my song catalog is at last consolidated with one guiding company, and I'm optimistic that Spirit will keep my music in the public mind," said the 66-year-old guitarist in the release. "I am passionately committed to new projects for rock and for music theater and I can't imagine a better company with which to be building a new creative life for myself."

The Who, along with Spirit, are also expected to collaborate on a series of retrospectives leading up to a celebration of the band's 50th anniversary in 2014.