|Photo: Gary Calton|
U2 will join Live Nation for 12 years.
The contract follows a broader deal struck last year with Madonna, which also included music distribution and publishing. While the U2 deal doesn't include publishing and recordings -- which remain with Universal Music Group -- the deal highlights the ongoing changes in the music industry.
There are not many details yet about the logistics or financial aspects of the deal with U2, but the Madonna deal which was reportedly worth $120 million over 10 years, so, using that as a benchmark, the U2 deal is likely to be worth in the 10's of millions.
According to Reuters, Live Nation Chairman Michael Cohl said the company "will focus on signing other major artists rather than developing new acts such as a traditional music label or publishing house would." The company's new strategy is to diversify its interests away from tour promotion and into other areas of revenue and product development. According to Cohl, its new strategy will also include its website LiveNation.com, which he said was "aiming to become the biggest music portal on the web through a mixture of ticketing, merchandise sales as well as fan clubs and other features."