'American Idol' partners with Universal Music Group, drops Sony

simon-fuller-american-idol-320.jpgAmidst the "American Idol" Judges Watch of 2010, there is some other big "Idol" news -- Universal Music Group will now partner with "American Idol" to market, promote and distribute the "Idol" artists' albums.

Sony Music was the previous "Idol" partner, with finalists typically signing (if they were signed by Sony) with either 19 Recordings Limited and RCA Records or 19 Recordings Limited and Jive Records.

19 Entertainment and "Idol" creator Simon Fuller says in a statement, "With 'Idol' celebrating our 10th season I wanted to inject some new power and weight behind our brand. We have been quietly delivering hits relentlessly for 9 seasons and Lucian Grainge and Jimmy Iovine's ambition, commitment, and determination to push the boundaries and go even further with Idol was very compelling. It is exciting to have the world's biggest show partnered with the world's biggest music company."

If the signed deal is similar to the one Sony previously had, Universal Music Group will have the right of first refusal for all of the Top 12 Idols' albums.

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