GO
Loading...

Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

CBS Revives Namesake Music Label

CBS has launched a new recorded music label -- reviving the name of long-defunct CBS Records -- through which the company plans 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 said Thursday.

"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 prepared statement.

The label, in the works for months, was being officially announced Friday.

Outside of television, CBS Records will release music online through its own Web site and retailers such as Apple Computer'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 around 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.

Dating back to the 1930s, CBS Records had been home over the years to a legendary roster of recording artists, including Miles Davis, Billy Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen and Aerosmith.

In 1988, CBS Inc. sold the record label to Japan's Sony 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 effectively mothballed.

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.

"They have not used it in over a decade, so there was no question about the rights," Sussman said.

In recent years, television shows have become increasingly sought-after vehicles for record labels looking to create buzz for a new band or single. While still important, getting new music aired on radio has become tougher as stations seek to program music that will have the widest appeal.

CBS Records already has several artists on its roster. One of them, singer-songwriter Will Dailey, had a track from a forthcoming album featured in a recent episode of the CBS drama "Jericho."

Contact U.S. News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    Please choose a subscription

    Please enter a valid email address
    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.

Don't Miss

  • Why women cheat?

    Is cheating bad? Why do women cheat? The founder and CEO of affair website Ashley Madison tells all, including why he has his eye on China.

  • Judge's gavel

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority disciplined several financial services firms and individuals in May 2015.

  • Fine wines & finance

    Why you should try something a little different on date night. Bring the romance and champagne, and a calculator too. Every once in a while have a date to talk money and finance, and keep an important part of your relationship on track. Reporter Sharon Epperson talks to a couple who does just that.

U.S. Video

  • Cramer: Here's a sign the market could rally

    Wall Street's been soaking in red, but "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer has one signal to watch for that could point to another run.

  • Burger war maneuvers

    Cramer looks at the number of company's selling burgers and tries to determine the quality names, as well as those to avoid.

  • Cramer: What's driving defense?

    Cramer says that even though President Obama has made it clear the US can no longer be the world's policeman, the country can become the world's arms dealer. Profiting from defense spending.