His estate is now the recipient of the biggest recording deal in history: a $200 million guaranteed contract with Sony Music Entertainment for as many as 10 projects over the next seven years, according to various reports.
If certain conditions are met, the contract could be worth up to $250 million through 2017, and include video games as well as music and film releases.
“The audio rights span across different projects,” said Rob Stringer, chairman of Columbia Epic, a division of Sony, according to the Los Angeles Times. “There may be theater. There may be films and movies. There may be computer games — or multimedia platforms that I don’t know about today that will happen in 2015.”
The first fruit of the deal was the two-disc album that accompanied “This Is It,” the film based on video of concert rehearsals for what was to have been Jackson’s comeback at London’s O2 arena.
Up next is an album of never-before-released Jackson recordings due in November, reports the AP. John Branca, co-administrator of the Jackson estate, said his co-executor John McClain is already working on selecting unreleased the material.
“They’ve got over 60 unreleased recordings that they’re choosing from,” Branca said he was told by McClain, according to the LA Times. “The first album will have around 10. There’s some very recent stuff and vintage stuff that deserves to be shared with Michael’s fans.”
Future projects may also include a DVD compilation of videos and a re-release of “Off the Wall,” Jackson’s fifth studio album, which first came out in 1979, accompanied by some unreleased material.
Before his sudden death in June at age 50, the pop star had wanted to re-issue the album, people familiar with the deal said.
“During his life, Michael’s contracts set the standard for the industry,” said Branca in a statement. “By all objective criteria, this agreement with Sony Music demonstrates the lasting power of Michael’s music by exceeding all previous industry benchmarks.”
“We’re dedicated to protecting this icon’s legacy and we’re thrilled that we can continue to bring his music to the world for the foreseeable future,” Stringer stated.
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