CBS Resurrectes CBS Records For Soundtracks

CBS Corp. has brought the long-defunct CBS Records back from the dead to release music and promote artists on its networks stable of television shows. CBS Records aims to market its artists and their music in television shows produced by CBS Paramount Television and aired across several broadcast and cable networks, including CBS, The CW, NBC and USA Network, New York-based CBS Corp.

“With more consumers choosing the online download model as the preferred way to purchase their favorite songs, we have an opportunity to use our unique and broad collection of media platforms to create a new music label paradigm for a small price of admission,” Leslie Moonves, president and chief executive of CBS Corp., said in a press release.

Outside of television, CBS Records will release music online through its own Web site and retailers such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store. The label has completed a deal with Apple to sell music, videos and other content, and expects to seal similar agreements with other online music services, CBS said. CBS Records, based in Los Angeles, will also put out CDs, through partnerships with other labels or distributors.

The label plans to add about eight artists to its roster in the first year, said Larry Jenkins, a veteran music executive who is serving as a consultant to the label.

CBS Records has been around for decades and had been home to a legendary roster of recording artists, including Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen and Aerosmith, according to CBS. In 1988, CBS Inc. sold the record label to Japan’s Sony Corp. for about $2 billion. A few years later, Sony folded the label into one of its other recorded music divisions. In the years since, the CBS Records name has been faded to black.

CBS did not pay anything for the right to use the CBS Records name again. The original terms of the sale only gave Sony the right to the name as long as it was being actively used, said Jack Sussman, executive vice president of specials, music and live events at CBS Entertainment, and the name hasn’t been used in a decade.

Author: FutureMusic

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