BMG is the new label and publishing partner for American Idol, as revealed on the ABC series’ Season 19 finale Sunday (May 16). The deal — struck between BMG and the show’s producer, Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment — pertains to this season and next, the companies tell Billboard.
Prior to the BMG deal, the show’s partners were Hollywood Records and Disney Music Publishing.
19 Recordings vp of music Elissa Felman says the new agreement is part of a broader strategy to invest more time and energy in contestants who sign a label deal in the show’s aftermath. “Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve really been pivoting 19 Recordings, just behind the scenes…as more of an artist development company,” she notes.
The agreement came about after Felman floated the idea of forming a BMG publishing partnership with that company’s executive vp and U.S. head of publishing, Monti Olson, for Idol’s current season. In the course of their conversations, Olson pitched the idea of BMG’s label division also becoming involved. Very quickly, says Felman, “we realized that our creative vision aligned,” and the deal was set in motion.