In April 2008, the Rolling Stones released a soundtrack for Martin Scorsese’s documentary “Shine a Light” with UMG which led to the beginning of a relationship between the Rolling Stones and Universal Music Group. Recently, the Rolling Stones have announced their separation from EMI and have signed on with Universal Music Group.
This will allow Universal Music Group to own catalogs dating back to the 1971 record album, “Sticky Fingers”, and all future recordings. New songs will be released worldwide under Polydor, owned by Universal Music Group. UMG will also be in charge of the physical and digital distribution of all songs written by the Rolling Stones, therefore this marks the first time where the entire Stones catalog will be under one recording label. Currently, Universal Music Group is working to digitalize the Stones catalog.
Prior to their recording deal with EMI, the Rolling Stones have held deals with Decca Records, Warner, Virgin and Sony BMG. Warner, EMI, Virgin and Sony BMG have separately handled the song catalog from 1971-1990. Decca Records and ABKCO co-own the copyrights outside North America for the band’s song catalog from 1963-1970.
In addition to the Rolling Stones leaving EMI, other artists such as Paul Mc Cartney and Radiohead have also changed labels. EMI released a statement in which they wished the Stones, “well in their new venture”.