Pop & Hiss

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American Idol jumps from Sony Music home to Universal Music Group

August 3, 2010 | 12:13 pm

Our Company Town blog has learned that the struggling music powerhouse American Idol brand has left its longtime Sony Music home to move to the Universal Music Group. Writes Chris Lee: "Under the agreement, UMG’s Interscope Geffen A&M Records will distribute, promote and market albums from 'Idol' finalists and winners, taking over Sony Music’s longstanding deal with 'Idol,' which reportedly expired in May at the conclusion of the show’s ninth season."


In a statement to The Times, “Idol” creator Simon Fuller explained the move by lavishing praise on UMG co-CEO Lucian Grainge and Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine.

“With ‘Idol’ celebrating our 10th season I wanted to inject some new power and weight behind our brand,” Fuller said. “We have been quietly delivering hits relentlessly for nine seasons and Lucian Grange and Jimmy Iovine’s ambition, commitment and determination to push the boundaries and go even further with ‘Idol’ was very compelling.”

Although album sales from past “Idol” winners and finalists have come to dominate the pop charts in the past decade -- with fourth season winner Carrie Underwood selling 11.5 million albums and Kelly Clarkson, who won the show’s first season, moving 10.6 million units according to Nielsen SoundScan -- the announcement arrives at a transitional time for the show.

Read the entire Company Town post here.

-- Randall Roberts