- Simon Cowell will lead new privately-owned entertainment venture ‘Syco Entertainment’
- Sony Music Entertainment to wholly retain joint venture music assets
- Amicable buyback agreement concludes record-breaking, long running partnership
Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment have reached an agreement for Cowell to acquire Sony Music Entertainment’s stake in their global joint venture talent and production company, which owns TV super-formats Got Talent and The X Factor, both created by Cowell and which were launched in 2006 and 2004 respectively.
This buy-out, personally by Cowell, is the result of a buyback option maintained by Cowell through their joint-venture renewals and a mutual negotiation process. As part of the agreement, Sony Music will retain the JV’s music assets, including its roster of current artists and back catalog.
The agreement for Cowell to personally acquire Sony Music’s share of the joint venture will transfer ownership of all of the television formats to a privately held company to be called Syco Entertainment. Cowell will have sole ownership of this independent entertainment company.
Simon Cowell said: “I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Rob and all of the Sony Music executives, artists and partners all over the world. It’s been a unique partnership and Sony have always backed and supported me to create television formats. The shows we created have found so many amazing artists over the years and so many of the various Sony labels all over the world have enabled so many of those artists to fulfil their dreams.
We have all shared some incredible achievements, and importantly we have had lots of fun. I won’t say this was an easy decision to make, however sometimes you have to personally support something you are so passionate about. I’ve always believed it’s important to take on new goals in order to drive new ideas and creativity so I’m very excited to be taking an independent and creatively-led Syco Entertainment into the future.”
Rob Stringer, Chairman, Sony Music Group, said: “At this particular contractual crossroads, it was simply the right thing for Simon to take control of his TV assets and propel his company in a new direction. Sony Music has had incredible global success with so many artists that have been launched through Simon’s vision and innovation and we are proud to continue to represent the Syco music catalogue and its artists.
On a personal note, it has been an amazing adventure working with him as we have shared so many exciting pop culture moments as friends and partners.”
In 2005, Sony Music Entertainment purchased Cowell’s share of Syco Music and Syco Television. In 2009, Cowell launched a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment whereby the JV owned the rights to several television formats including Got Talent and X Factor. From these TV shows, during the partnership, artists were exclusively signed to Sony Music Entertainment owned labels including Syco Music, Columbia Records, Epic Records, Sony Music Latin and RCA Records.
As part of this new agreement, Syco Music remains wholly-owned and managed by Sony Music Entertainment and all artists remain signed with Sony Music Entertainment.
Artists discovered through the TV show brands and signed to various Sony Music Entertainment-owned labels have achieved record sales of more than 600 million including more than 100 No. 1 records in the UK and in excess of 250 No. 1 singles and more than 500 Top 10 records globally.
These include hits by stars including One Direction, Camila Cabello, Little Mix, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, CNCO, Paul Potts, James Arthur, Fifth Harmony, Louis Tomlinson, Olly Murs, JLS, Jackie Evancho, Alexandra Burke, Grace VanderWall and Rebecca Ferguson, amongst many more, as well as the many other artists discovered by local versions of the TV shows airing around the world.
Other artists launched through the long-running partnership include record-breaking groups, Westlife and Il Divo.
The Got Talent brand – officially the world’s No1 reality TV format – currently has 76 local versions produced across the globe and international tape-sales to more than180 countries. The X Factor airs in more than 130 territories.