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Jay-Z to Ink $150 Million Deal with Live Nation

Later on this week, Jay-Z is expected to finalize a deal with concert production company Live Nation said to be worth an estimated $150 million. According to the New York Times, the deal will include financing for a new record label called Roc Nation, and will cover three albums and any tours Jay agrees to over the next 10 years. The company will provide Jay with $5 million per year over the next five years for his label and talent management business, with another $25 million available for further investments or acquisitions. Jay will also receive an upfront payment of $25 million, and another $25 million advance that will include payment for the Heart of the City Tour that Jay is currently on with Mary J. Blige. He will also reportedly get $10 million advances on each of three albums he has agreed to record with Live Nation over the next ten years, plus another $20 million in return for certain publishing and licensing rights. The partnership closely resembles similar agreements that Live Nation recently entered into with U2 and Madonna. With the music industry in disarray over illegal downloads and low record sales, the company has made an aggressive effort in recent years to offer artists a new model for earning money in the industry. “Everyone’s trying to figure it out,” Jay told the Times. “I want to be on the front lines in that fight.” Live Nation will split profits from the Roc Nation venture and also plans on merging marketing efforts from Jay’s albums, concerts and merchandising. Critics of the company’s model believe it will be hard for them to turn a profit on such an expensive deal. The company’s stock price actually fell after they announced their $120 millon deal with Madonna. But Michael Cohl, chairman of Live Nation, says the deal does not depend on increased record sales to be successful. “He could be doing more tours and doing great,” Cohl explained to the Times. “There could be endorsements and sponsorships.” He added, “The whole is what’s important.”

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