Michael Jackson’’s estate has signed a sweeping contract with Sony following which the record label will have the complete rights to sell the Pop icon’’s back catalogue and many of his previously unheard recordings.
The contract, for about 10 recordings through 2017, is expected to rake up nearly 250 million dollars in advances and other payments for Jackson’’s estate, while offering a special high royalty rate for sales both inside and outside the US, says sources.
The deal will also enable Sony and the estate to team up for several lucrative licensing arrangements, such as the use of Jackson’’s music for movies, TV and stage shows, and memorabilia.
“We think that recordings will always be an important part of the estate…New generations of kids are discovering Michael,” the New York Times quoted John Branca, an entertainment lawyer who is one of the estate’’s executors, as saying.
He added: “A lot of the people that went to see ”This Is It” were families.
” ”This Is It” was one of the few films allowed into China. So we think there are growing and untapped markets for Michael’’s music.”
The first recording under the new contract is the “This Is It” soundtrack, released in 2009, and Sony is now planning a new album of unreleased recordings for November.
Rob Stringer, chairman of the Columbia/Epic Label Group, a Sony division, said: “It’’s not just a record deal.
“We”re not just basing this on how many CDs we sell or how many downloads. There are also audio rights for theater, movies, computer games. I don”t know how an audio soundtrack will be used in 2017, but you”ve got to bet on Michael Jackson in any new platform.”