Madonna Close To Massive Deal With Live Nation
Madonna is close to leaving her longtime home at Warner Bros. for a wide-ranging $120 million deal with Live Nation Inc., a source familiar with the talks said yesterday (Oct. 10). Madonna would receiMadonna is close to leaving her longtime home at Warner Bros. for a wide-ranging $120 million deal with concert promotion firm Live Nation Inc., a source familiar with the talks said yesterday (Oct. 10).
The story was first reported on the Wall Street Journal's Web site, which said Madonna would receive a mix of cash and stock in exchange for allowing Live Nation to distribute three studio albums, promote concert tours, sell merchandise and license her name.
Such a deal is virtually unprecedented, but may become more common as struggling record labels and other players in the music industry seek to shore up revenues by going into business with musical acts, rather than just taking fees for selling their albums or concert tickets.
A Live Nation spokesperson declined comment. A source familiar with Warner confirmed the basic details of the report.
The 49-year-old singer has recorded for the Warner Music Group Corp.-owned label her entire career, stretching back to her 1983 self-titled debut album.
She still owes Warner Music a new studio CD and a greatest hits package, a label spokesperson said in August, when speculation of a tie-up with Live Nation first surfaced. Her last album, "Confessions on a Dance Floor," came out in 2005.
Live Nation's diversification from promoting concerts to entering complex business partnerships with music stars is a sign of the times in the ailing music industry.
Warner Music reportedly sought to retain Madonna with a similar arrangement. In an unusual move, the company partnered with Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, the parent of TicketMaster, to try to counter Live Nation's proposal, the Wall Street Journal said.
The paper, quoting people briefed on the Live Nation deal, said the package includes a general advance of $17.5 million and advance payments for three albums of $50 to $60 million. Live Nation also is expected to pay $50 million in cash and stock for the right to promote Madonna's concert tours.
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