American Idol mastermind Simon Fuller and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell have teamed up for a new joint venture that will create an independent partnership model for artists and content owners in the music and entertainment industries aimed at putting them in full control of their careers and their businesses for the first time.
The new venture – Blackwell Fuller, Inc. – will take the form of a new content company focused on working with artists looking to develop and nourish the connection points between them and their audiences. Fuller and Blackwell have already identified several opportunities to partner with important artists and iconic brands and will be announcing the first of these initiatives in the coming months.
"In the rush to create new media platforms in this incredibly explosive digital age, the business community generally relegates artists to the role of a mere spectator, often at their own expense," said Fuller. "We believe we have a unique opportunity to create new-media partnerships directly with the creators themselves and build a new model that will define the path for artists and creators for the new digital age."
"There has been a need for a new business approach for artists and content owners for many years," said Blackwell. "As the entertainment industry and media companies struggle to find new financial models, the arrangements struck with artists have become more and more restrictive and onerous. Our new approach will give artists the freedom to explore new paths to market with the kind of support and resources it takes to create real scale, control, and reach."
Blackwell Fuller will operate from Fuller's XIX Entertainment offices in London, New York, and Los Angeles.
Chris Blackwell is renowned as the founder of Island Records, and the guiding light of many of the world's most successful music acts of the last fifty years including Bob Marley, U2, Cat Stevens, Melissa Etheridge, Roxy Music, Free and many others. Simon Fuller is one of the most powerful and successful entertainment entrepreneurs in Hollywood as the creator of "American Idol," and the manager of a diverse range of star talent in music, sport and fashion. Fuller launched XIX Entertainment earlier this year to work in partnership with star talent that includes Annie Lennox, Jennifer Lopez, David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton, Roland Mouret, Andy Murray, Carrie Underwood, Sir Michael Caine, Lisa Marie Presley, and The Spice Girls, among others.