From Silicon Alley Insider: After months of back and forth, the Rolling Stones have left Guy Hands’ EMI for Vivendi’s Universal Music Group. Universal gets the band’s catalogue stretching back to the 1970s (most of the earlier stuff belongs to Abkco Music), which is nice. It also gets the rights to release new music, which doesn’t mean much, since the Stones haven’t had a new hit since… anyone?
But the band isn’t giving up its most lucrative income stream – its tour business. At one point the Stones appeared interested in doing a mega-deal with concert promoter Live Nation, but Live Nation (LYV) has gotten hammered over its mega deals, and Michael Cohl, the Live Nation exec who worked closely with the Stones for many years, got booted last month.
So how big a deal is this for both labels? Enough for both of them to lob insults at each other via press release. Key quotes:
Universal, quoting the Stones: “‘Universal are forward thinking, creative and hands-on music people. We really look forward to working with them.” Translation: Guy Hands is a soulless private equity guy. Universal boss Doug Morris has written songs, plays the piano and understands the delicate psyche of musicians. Also, he paid.
EMI: “EMI Music will only ever conclude mutually beneficial agreements with its artists.” Translation: Have you people seen what the music business looks like these days? We’re not overpaying.
Full press releases at alleyinsider.com
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