'American Idol' Music Rights Move From Sony To Universal

'Idol' artists' albums will now come out on Interscope Geffen A&M.

Sony, you're out. 19 Entertainment and Simon Fuller, the creator behind "American Idol," have lined up a multiyear deal with Universal Music Group for its Interscope Geffen A&M division to market, promote and distribute "Idol" artists' albums.

The deal with Sony produced hits for Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, but Billboard.com reports that the chart-topping success for those two acts hasn't been matched. Reuters reports that the deal is for a minimum of three years.

"With 'Idol' celebrating our 10th season, I wanted to inject some new power and weight behind our brand," Fuller said in a statement. "We have been quietly delivering hits relentlessly for nine seasons, and Lucian Grainge and [Interscope Geffen A&M chairman] 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."

Since the show's inception in 2001, "American Idol" has sold more music than any other TV show and has moved more than 100 million units in North America and more than 120 million songs on iTunes.

"We like delivering hits and new artists," Grainge said in a statement. "UMG and 'American Idol' is the right combination at the right time. Pairing the renowned expertise of Simon [Fuller] and Jimmy in developing and marketing musical talent creates a truly winning combination that will allow 'Idol's' artists to realize their fullest potential."

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