News Music Industry 06/07/2006

The Firm Launches Artist-Empowering Record Label Backed by EMI Music

BEVERLY HILLS, CA. (The Firm) - The Firm, Hollywood's most innovative management company, announced today it is launching a new artist-friendly music company, with records to be distributed by EMI Music in the U.S. and licensed for territories around the globe.

The new music company will take the unprecedented step of splitting all profits with the artists signed to the venture rather than the traditional royalty structure. Multi-platinum recording artist and actress Mandy Moore and rock group Army of Anyone, featuring former members of Filter and Stone Temple Pilots, are the first to sign to the company.

Jeff Kwatinetz, CEO of The Firm and architect of the new music venture, said, "This is an opportunity for The Firm to create a new music business model that shifts power back to the artists and the focus back to the music itself. While many in the music industry are pessimistic about the future, we think the possibilities are limitless if we can find fresh ways to support and nurture great art and the talent that creates it."

"The innovative work we have done with David Munns, Alain Levy and their team at EMI on Korn, Ice Cube, 30 Seconds to Mars and others has been lighting the way. They are forward thinkers whose artist-oriented approach is empowering the creative community. Instead of whining about the difficulties plaguing today's music business, they are planning for the future," Kwatinetz added.

The financial model created for the company is the latest in a series of deals by The Firm that are reengineering entertainment industry economics to strengthen common interests between artists and the companies they work with.

As a consequence of these deals, The Firm has been evolving into a unique new kind of Hollywood company with the capacity not only to manage the careers of film and music artists, but to produce, market and promote their craft.

A number of those groundbreaking deals have been supported by EMI Music, the world's third largest recorded music company.

"EMI is delighted to distribute The Firm's music company in the U.S. and bring its artists to a global audience. The Firm's label roster will be another strong American repertoire source for EMI worldwide," said David Munns, Vice Chairman EMI Music worldwide. "Jeff shares my view that our changing industry sometimes calls for breaking the mold and pursuing new business models. As a result, we're already having success with the groundbreaking deal we did with The Firm on Korn and we look forward to this being another solid venture."

Last year, The Firm engineered an innovative deal that put EMI and Live Nation in partnership with the band Korn so that all parties benefit from the rock group's overall success. Korn's first record under the agreement, "See You on the Other Side," is fast approaching 2 million units sold worldwide, and the band's touring numbers are exceeding expectations.

In another recent deal with EMI, Firm client Ice Cube self-financed a new album and The Firm handled such record company functions as A&R, marketing, promotion and publicity for the newly created Lench Mob Records, while EMI handled distribution. The album, "Laugh Now, Cry Later," debuted top 5 in the U.S. three weeks ago.

Mandy Moore said: "The current state of the industry challenges us to conceive innovative approaches in music. It is, therefore, especially exciting to be part of a venture in which artistic freedom is encouraged. I am thrilled by the opportunity to join forces with The Firm, as well as with those I've trusted throughout the years."

Army of Anyone said: "We are so excited to be a part of the building of a new business model. We have been looking for a way to regain some artistic control, and we feel by partnering with The Firm, we are truly betting on ourselves and our team. For the first time in our career, we are in control of our own destiny."

The Firm's music clients have excelled recently and currently are responsible for 9 of the top 100 and 11 of the top 200 records on the Billboard chart. Meanwhile, The Firm is aggressively signing new artists including "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks, and is successfully breaking new acts including Flyleaf and 30 Seconds to Mars, who are signed to EMI's Virgin Records.
The new music company, which has not yet been named, will be housed within the Firm's Beverly Hills management offices.

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