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What the Lionsgate and Universal Music Group Deal Means for Entertainment

La La Land / Summit Entertainment

In early August, Lionsgate and Universal Music Group signed a multi-year TV agreement. Now that the negotiation is signed and sealed, how and what will the two entertainment titans deliver? The collaboration between the global content leader and music group will likely shake up television with more music-inspired stories and of course, more music for our ears. Here, we’ll break down everything that you should know about the Lionsgate and UMG deal.

What do we know so far?

Specific details of the deal are not available to the public, but press releases have given us its major contours. Lionsgate will work with UMG’s film and TV production division, Polygram. It has confirmed that it will derive inspiration from and work with the music company’s labels such as Capitol, Def Jam, Interscope, Island, Republic and Universal Music Nashville. The collaboration will also draw on UMG’s labels, artists, and music. Additionally, TV fans will see soundtrack albums affiliated with the shows that come from the deal.

What have Lionsgate and UMG done together in the past?

This is the first time that the two companies will join forces in a TV deal, but they’ve had lucrative partnerships before. Lionsgate and UMG have worked together to create some of the most successful movie soundtracks of this decade. Their portfolio together is indeed breathtaking, to say the very least. Both entertainment giants collaborated on movies such as The Hunger Games, La La Land, and Divergent.

What kind of content can TV viewers expect?

Well, the straightforward answer is a lot. The deal will promote music and celebrate past and current artists in the industry.

“We’re excited to partner with Lionsgate, one of the premier entertainment companies in the world, to create an unmatched opportunity for our artists and labels and the stories they inspire, as well as draw from the goldmine of genres, time periods and legendary figures represented by our rich and storied catalog,” said Michele Anthony, executive VP of UMG.

There’s a good chance that TV fans will get more unscripted series like The Voice or America’s Got Talent, as well as scripted series like Nashville and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. To implement these kinds of shows, UMG has a lot of talent to draw from. It boasts an impressive list of pop artists, which includes Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and The Rolling Stones. Yes, this could very well mean that soundtracks with music’s biggest stars are on their way to our playlists.

But the deal could also boost lesser-known musicians. Besides A-list stars, smaller artists could get more support. Relatively obscure artists under the label could get roles and music on TV projects. Should a reality singing competition be in the cards, this could mean a stronger promotion for new artists who win sponsored record deals. This is important, since The Voice, for example, has been criticized for not giving adequate direction to its winners, who receive a deal with Republic Records as well as a cash prize.

Additionally, we could see more musical series, like The Get Down or music-driven shows like Empire. Musicals, as well as soundtracks that dominate radio, have long fallen in the domain of movies. This could dramatically change with the Lionsgate-UMG collaboration.

“With this new partnership, we’re perfectly positioned to deliver thrilling music-driven stories that will excite fans for years to come,” noted David Blackman, UMG’s Head of Film and Television Development and Production.

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