Janet Jackson, whose contract with Virgin Records ran out
after the release of Janet. is currently negotiating a new contract with
that Thorn EMI owned record company. The new contract is estimated by industry
experts consulted by Reuters to be worth between $80 million to $90 million.
"Negotiations are still proceeding,'' a Thorn EMI spokeswoman told
If the negotiations are successfully concluded, Jackson's
new deal will top those made a few years back by Madonna, as well as the artist
some of us still call Prince. Although Prince's promo team hyped his old deal
at being worth more than $100 million, that turned out to indeed be hype. Not
even Janet's brother Michael has a deal this sweet.
"$90 million is what's
talked about," said Nikko Securities music industry analyst Dennis Exton. "But
I think they'll settle for a bit below.'' Nikko's Exton said he would expect a
new contract for Jackson would require three to four albums, one or two global
tours and two or three music videos. Other sources familiar with the industry
said the deal is likely to come in closer to $80 million.
PolyGram, where Janet Jackson made her start on the company's A&M label, and
the new David Geffen/Steven Spielberg/Jeffrey Katzenberg-owned DreamWorks have
dropped out of the bidding could hold down the price. PolyGram declined to
comment, and officials of DreamWorks could not be reached.
contract with Jackson is extremely important to Thorn EMI. The sister of pop
superstar Michael Jackson is a big seller in the key U.S. market, an area where
the company's EMI Music division has traditionally been weak. She has been with
Virgin since 1991, and is the biggest artist on a roster that also includes the
Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Blur and the Smashing Pumpkins.