Live Nation Signs Idiotic Deal With 38-Year-Old Rap Star

Photo: WireImage

The New York Times reports this morning that Jay-Z is close to a deal with Live Nation that would cover his albums, tours, publishing, licensing, endorsements, and some business ventures, give Hova his own record label and talent agency — and cost the concert promoter $150 million over the next decade.

The $20 million Live Nation is reportedly allocating toward his publishing and licensing seems like a solid investment, as does the $25 million they're giving him as an advance for his current tour with Mary J. Blige, but while it's still unclear exactly how much they stand to make from his "acquisitions or investments" (on which they're apparently spending $25 million), it's unlikely that any of this will make up for the $10 million per album (for a minimum of three albums) he'll get over the next ten years, or the $25 million he'll get to found his own label, or the $25 million upfront payment that Jay makes just for signing the deal.

Also bad for Live Nation is that Jay-Z is still under contract to Def Jam for an album (which he says he'll deliver late this year), meaning the soonest he could start recording for LN is next year, when he'll be 39. Last year's American Gangster barely sold a million copies (despite being awesome), so it's probably unlikely that the albums he makes between 2009 and 2018 (after which most CD factories will have closed and he and Beyoncé start having grandchildren) will earn back their $30 million cost.

But hey, maybe profits from a new clothing line (he sold Rocawear last year for $204 million), his chain of 40/40 nightclubs, or a line of Rocafella action figures (which we would totally buy) will make this a winning deal after all. Either way, though, props to Jay-Z for getting $150 million!

In Rapper’s Deal, a New Model for Music Business [NYT]

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