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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Madonna signs radical record deal
Madonna
Madonna will release one more new album through Warner next year
Madonna has signed a ground-breaking recording and touring contract with concert promoter Live Nation.

She is the first major star to choose an all-in-one agreement with a tour company over a traditional record deal.

It gives Live Nation rights to all her music-related projects - including new albums, tours, merchandise, websites, DVDs, sponsorship, TV shows and films.

The deal, reported to be worth $120m (59m) over 10 years, ends her 25-year relationship with Warner Music.

The pop star, 49, has been with Warner for her entire career, during which time she has sold 200 million records and CDs.

For the first time in my career, the way that my music can reach my fans is unlimited... with this new partnership, the possibilities are endless
Madonna

Madonna, the first performer in Live Nation's new Artist Nation division, said the deal offered her the chance to take advantage of new models of music distribution.

"The paradigm in the music business has shifted and as an artist and a businesswoman, I have to move with that shift," the singer said.

"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."

NEW TYPES OF RECORD DEAL
Radiohead - Released their new album as a download from their website and told fans to choose how much to pay
Prince - Gave his latest CD away with the UK's Mail on Sunday newspaper and at gigs
Sir Paul McCartney - Signed a deal with record label owned by Starbucks, which sold his new album in its coffee shops

Live Nation chief executive Michael Rapino said they had created a "new business model for our industry".

"Madonna is a true icon and maverick as an artist and in business," he said. "Our partnership is a defining moment in music history."

Madonna has become a shareholder in the company, the statement said, but further financial details were not provided.

She must still make one more album for Warner, due next year.

Warner will also retain the rights to sell and license her back catalogue of hits such as Like a Virgin, Vogue and Music.

Traditionally, companies like Warner Music Group have focused on recorded music, while other firms have arranged tours, managed artists and sold merchandise.

It shows the music industry is being less record-centric
Jean-Bernard Levy
Chief executive, Vivendi
But shrinking CD sales have led artists and entertainment companies to consider wide-ranging deals that bring all activities under one roof, helping cross-promotion and boosting profit margins.

Jean-Bernard Levy, chief executive of Universal Music Group's parent company Vivendi, said the music industry was at a turning point.

"It shows indeed the music industry is being less record-centric," he told the Reuters news agency.

"It used to be just focused on the record and everybody thought all the rest was just promotions in order to sell records.

"Now it's a more balanced business where you have records, TV shows, merchandise, touring revenues and so on."

Madonna is the latest big name to eschew a major label deal and find a different way to distribute music.

Last week, Radiohead made their new album available to download from their website and asked fans to choose how much to pay for it.

Prince recently gave away his latest CD with a newspaper, while Sir Paul McCartney signed up with the Starbucks cafe chain.

SEE ALSO
Have Radiohead marked music's future?
10 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
Hall of Fame 'considers Madonna'
28 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
Move to digital hits Warner Music
07 Aug 07 |  Business
Newspaper gives away Prince CDs
15 Jul 07 |  Entertainment
'Golden age' for live music scene
16 Apr 07 |  Entertainment
Weak album sales hit Warner Music
08 Feb 07 |  Business

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