Let The Stones Bidding War Begin
March 25, 2008 at 5:59 AM (PT)
While THE ROLLING STONES focus on the imminent release of their latest album, "Shine A Light," record companies are vying to sign the band to a long-term deal in a contest that highlights the ways in which the music industry is changing, reports THE FINANCIAL TIMES.
UNIVERSAL MUSIC, SONY BMG and WARNER MUSIC have already begun courting THE STONES in an effort to wrest them away from their long-time label, EMI. The band’s contract expires in JUNE, and they are expected to finalise their plans within months. The negotiations pose a high-profile test for EMI and its new private equity owner, GUY HANDS, to prove that they can retain top talent.
The talks are also significant because, in addition to the major record companies, EMI will be facing competition from LIVE NATION, the concert promoter. Last year, the company signed MADONNA away from WARNER MUSIC in a landmark deal believed to be worth more than $100m.