'Rising Star' Artists to Win UMG Deal; Capitol Set to Release Show Music

ABC/Bob D'Amico
Rising Star: Ludacris, Kesha, Brad Paisley and Josh Groban

"Rising Star" producer Keshet DCP has signed a deal with Universal Music Group by which artists on the ABC interactive singing show will win a record deal with Universal label Capitol Records.

Capitol will also release the full studio recordings of performances on the ABC show and make them available for download online.

Keshet's international arm has also inked a multi-territory deal with Universal which gives the label the exclusive option to sign any and all contestants on all international versions of "Rising Star" outside of the US and the original Israeli version of the show.

"In 'Rising Star,' Keshet International have created a truly original format which reinvents viewer engagement," said Max Hole, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group International. Finding and developing exciting new artists is at the heart of everything we do and so we are very pleased to be their music partner in this innovative venture."

ABC's "Rising Star" has gotten off to a slow start, dipping 20 percent in its second week from a less-than-spectacular premiere, but the interactive program from Israeli-based Keshet has been a global sales superstar. International primetime powerhouses including Germany's RTL, ITV in Britain and France's M6 have acquired the format and will be rolling out their own versions this year.

The interactive element of "Rising Star" – viewers vote live via an app for their favorite singers – makes it particularly attractive to Universal as it allows for careful targeting of fans for future releases.

The show "combines the best of television and social/mobile media to introduce new artists to the public," said Capitol Music Group Chairman & CEO Steve Barnet. "Our involvement with this exciting platform will help broaden the reach of these just-discovered artists and share their music with their newly won fans nationwide."

This story was first published by The Hollywood Reporter


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