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Jacko estate confirm Sony deal

By | Published on Wednesday 17 March 2010

The record-breaking new deal between Sony Music and the estate of the late Michael Jackson was confirmed yesterday. As thought, it is worth $200 million upfront, with a $50 million bonus for the Jacko estate if certain targets are met.

The deal will include the release of one album of previously unreleased Jackson tracks, which should be unleashed in time for Christmas this year. DVDs and re-releases will also form part of the seven year relationship between the major and the late king of pop’s executors.

Confirming the deal, one of those executors, John Branca, said in a statement: “During his life, Michael’s contracts set the standard for the industry. By all objective criteria, this agreement with Sony Music demonstrates the lasting power of Michael’s music by exceeding all previous industry benchmarks”.

Speaking to the Associated Press, he added: “The remarkable thing is to make the biggest deal in history in a market with declining record sales. It’s a pretty big thing. It’s a testament to Michael’s incredible talent and his music. It’s really an honour to be part of this”.

Asked how Jackson, a famous perfectionist, would feel about unreleased and often unfinished work now being made public, Branca added: “[My co-executor] John McClain said it best. He said that Michael probably wouldn’t have wanted ‘This is It’ released because he was such a perfectionist and it was rehearsal footage. But if he had seen that we could get $60 million for his mother and children and it became the biggest concert movie of all time, he would have said, ‘Thank you very much'”.

Speaking for Sony, Columbia Epic US Label Group top man Rob Stringer said: “We’re dedicated to protecting this icon’s legacy and we’re thrilled that we can continue to bring his music to the world for the foreseeable future”.

Speaking to the New York Times, he added that the new deal was flexible so to accommodate future developments in the record industry: “It’s not just a record deal. I don’t know how an audio soundtrack will be used in 2018 but you’ve got to bet on Michael Jackson in any new platform”.