The rumors are true: Madonna is leaving her longtime label Warner Bros. and signing an unprecedented deal with concert-giant Live Nation for an undisclosed amount of money (rumors had pegged it at $120 million over the past several months). "The paradigm in the music business has shifted and as an artist and a businesswoman, I have to move with that shift," Madonna said in a statement. "For the first time in my career, the way that my music can reach my fans is unlimited. I've never wanted to think in a limited way and with this new partnership, the possibilities are endless. Who knows how my albums will be distributed in the future? That's what's exciting about this deal -- everything is possible. Live Nation has offered me a true partnership and after twenty-five years in the business, I feel that I deserve that."
As reported earlier, the ten-year deal will encompass new studio releases, touring, merchandising, a takeover of the Madonna fan club and Web site, DVD releases, TV and film projects, sponsorships and licensing agreements regarding the Madonna name and brand. Live Nation is simultaneously announcing the formation of its Artist Nation division, which will launch with Madonna as its flagship star and oversee her projects. Artist Nation will consist of divisions that handle recorded music, merchandise (physical and online sales), concert ticketing, live-music distribution, and sponsorships and marketing. Live Nation is referring to Artist Nation as "redefining the music industry with a unified rights model," and the set-up does seek to cover every single aspect of a recording and touring artists' career.
In her statement, Madonna praised Warner Bros. and confirmed she has a new LP coming out on the label next year: "I appreciate their hard work and value the many relationships I have developed over the years with the label in the U.S. and around the world. I have an album coming out with them next year and I'm excited about it. We still have work to do together."
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