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"Pairing the renowned expertise of Simon and Jimmy in developing and marketing musical talent creates a truly winning combination that will allow Idol's artists to realize their fullest potential."
—-Lucian Grainge, UMG Co-CEO

IDOL TO UMG’S IGA

With Sony Deal Up, Fox TV Show's Winners Go to Universal

It’s done.


19 Entertainment
and American Idol creator Simon Fuller have announced a long-term strategic alliance to develop, distribute and market the hit Fox show’s musical artists with Universal Music Group.


The deal was announced today by UMG Chairman/Co-CEO Doug Morris, Co-CEO Lucian Grainge and Fuller.


The show previously had a deal with Sony Music Entertainment.


As part of the multi-year agreement, UMG’s Interscope Geffen A&M will market, promote and distribute albums globally from American Idol finalists and winning contestants “across a broad array of retail and new media platforms.”


The show just kicked off auditions for its 10th season, attracting more than 26,000 hopefuls in Nashville and Milwaukee. Upcoming auditions will be held in Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey and California.


The show is currently in a state of upheaval, as it shuffles its judges panel, with Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi reportedly out and Jennifer Lopez and Steve Tyler in, though no official announcement has been made. Ironically, both IGA head Jimmy Iovine and P. Diddy, who has a deal with the label, have been mentioned in the past as possible judging candidates. Does this increase those chances?


Commenting on the deal, Fuller said: “With Idol celebrating our 10th season, I wanted to inject some new power and weight behind our brand. We have been quietly delivering hits relentlessly for nine seasons and Lucian Grainge and Jimmy Iovine's ambition, commitment and determination to push the boundaries and go even further with Idol was very compelling. It is exciting to have the world’s biggest show partnered with the world’s biggest music company.” 


“We like delivering hits and new artists,” added Grainge. “UMG and American Idol is the right combination at the right time. Pairing the renowned expertise of Simon and Jimmy in developing and marketing musical talent creates a truly winning combination that will allow Idol's artists to realize their fullest potential."


Since its debut in 2001, America Idol has been responsible for selling more music than any other TV show in history, with over 100 million units in North America alone and over 120 million songs on iTunes.

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