11:03 pm - 05/01/2012

Jonas Brothers part ways with HWR

After six years with the label, the siblings reclaimed their masters and are now free agents.

The Jonas Brothers have parted ways with Hollywood Records after releasing three albums on the Disney-owned label. Comprised of siblings Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas, the trio, which has sold 17 million albums worldwide, also bought back the rights to their master recordings, merchandising and publishing for an undisclosed sum.

“This was a decision that we made as a group,” Nick Jonas tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Naturally, as with any partnership, when you do part ways, there is emotion tied to it. We've been blessed to have a lot of success with Hollywood and with Disney, but speaking on behalf of my brothers and our team, we're all looking forward to this next chapter. We're ready for that next step as a group, and being able to take our work with us was so important.”

When contacted by THR, a Hollywood spokesperson commented, “Hollywood Records and Jonas Brothers have amicably ended an amazingly successful partnership after six years. … We couldn’t have asked for better partners or nicer people to work with. We wish Nick, Kevin, and Joe all the best in their future endeavors.”

It’s a rarity these days for a band with Jonas-level success -- the kind that includes sold-out arena shows, world tours, movie and TV specials -- to successfully reclaim their catalog (for a hefty price, typically a percentage based on past sales and estimated future earnings), but to hear manager Johnny Wright tell it, the opportunity couldn’t be passed up. “We could stay or we could go,” he says of the negotiation, which came after the band had met its obligations to the label. “This will allow them to chart their own destiny.”

It will also allow the the band to look at additional ancillary income from digital initiatives such as apps and live concert streaming, technologies that barely existed when the web-savvy JoBros signed with Hollywood in 2007 (with masters that they had wrested from Columbia Records after the Sony label dropped them). And then there’s the most lucrative stream of all: publishing, which can take the form of valuable synchs and movie placements, foreign territories, sheet music, you name it.

The industry and distribution channels are changing so rapidly, we don’t even know what it means anymore to put out a record,” says Wright. “If we wanted to take another deal with a major, it would be a different than what we entered into when we signed with Hollywood. We don't have to become just an artist to the label, we could be a partner or do it ourselves and then come back later on. There’s no plan here -- the plan is whatever we decide to make it.”

Wright readily admits, the Jonas Brothers had outgrown Disney, something that became evident as they contemplated their exit. “In having a conversation about moving forward, we knew we weren’t going to do a Jonas show on Disney Channel and the likelihood of us doing movie in that vein was not there so the big platforms were not really accessible to us anymore,” says the veteran manager, who has represented Justin Timberlake since his NSync days.

Besides, the guys longed to take some time with a new album (their last, Lines, Vines and Trying Times, came out in 2009) without the pressure of a deadline. “We don't have to have a record out under any time constraints so they’re free to just create and explore and do it at their own pace,” says Wright. “And they're enjoying it.”

Indeed, adds Nick Jonas: “In these past three years, my brothers and I have not released a record, but we've really come into our own as men. And we've also lived life, which is an important part to making a record. … I've got a studio set-up in my apartment in New York where we can all put down our ideas. It's a really liberating feeling to just be able to create and write whatever is on our hearts.”

Wright says to expect a new Jonas Brothers album by the end of 2012 or early 2013. In the meantime, the guys are putting into motion their own plan for imaging, even introducing a new logo. But in turning from “boys to men, to use that cliché,” he adds that this is a band that hasn’t yet peaked worldwide. And with all that they do both as a group and individually -- among their side-projects, the E! reality show Married to Jonas starring Kevin Jonas and new wife Danielle Deleasa (a co-production of Jonas Enterprises and Ryan Seacrest Productions), Nick’s role on Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and NBC’s Smash, a new feature film for Joe Jonas and plans to sign acts to their own production or publishing company -- there’s no telling where the Jonas train will lead them. But one thing is for sure: they’re driving it.

“What the Jonas Brothers have already done in the music business, most people will never get to,” says Wright. “Now it's chapter two, where they take those experiences and lessons and music and have all the control in putting it together and making a great business plan moving forward.”

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takobella 1st-May-2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
Lol I doubt they would have gotten their masters and all that shit before lvatt, r u kidding me?
fireandthud 1st-May-2012 01:34 pm (UTC)
Well on HWR's official website Jonas Brothers have been taken off...
poison20 1st-May-2012 01:41 pm (UTC)
hmmm maybe i might appreciate this album now.

HWR can go get fucked
breakaway0326 1st-May-2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
Didn't she already? I think there was a post already about her joining Sony. Unless of course that was all a dream
laurenlip20 1st-May-2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
i dont understand what's so bad about hollywood records?
poison20 1st-May-2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
whats bad about them?

-cant promote for shit
-cant promote for shit
-cant promote for shit
-cant promote for shit
-cant promote for shit
-cant promote for shit
-cant promote for shit
-cant promote for shit
-cant promote for shit
-cant promote for shit
-cant promote for shit

mayloveless 1st-May-2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
good for them!
electricblues 1st-May-2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
smartest career move they've made in a loooong time
poison20 1st-May-2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
no, that would be 'married to Jonas'
spider 1st-May-2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I think it's too late for this. I understand that they wanted to go live their lives and try new things during their hiatus, but unless this new album is incredible and ground-breaking and shit, it's not going to sell. Disney pretty much brands you for life as a tweenybopper artist even after you're off the label, these days anyway. Back in the Britney/Christina/Justin Disney days, an artistic separation was possible, but it's too encompassing a brand now.

JB is pretty much screwed no matter what they do - if they try to put out something "real" and "adult" like Joe and Nick did, everyone's going to laugh at them. If they stick to the same old mindless bubblegum radio-friendly pop, it's going to flop because people have long since moved on from them in terms of pop artists, it's nothing new, and only their hardcore fans will care.
breakaway0326 1st-May-2012 02:03 pm (UTC)
Its about freaking time. Now they aren't set up for failure. Bravo boys.
justinesays 1st-May-2012 02:11 pm (UTC)
wasn't expecting that, but cool.
preparatory 1st-May-2012 02:27 pm (UTC)
Good for them
sstablessong 1st-May-2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
I'm really excited about this, to be honest. And them being apart from HWR makes it even better. I want an improved ALBL, please.
cammyr12 2nd-May-2012 12:08 am (UTC)
ia! that was their best album. burnin up was A++
itiscoco 1st-May-2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
i kind of "knew" that this was about to happen.
and i think it may be true, you just have to check and you'll see that they aren't listed anymore
fireandthud 1st-May-2012 04:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah I wonder how they even managed that, they must have paid a lot but also they must have had someone on board to help with that as not many are able to reclaim the rights...
getmeadoctor 1st-May-2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
i never thought i'd see the day, they'll prob try starting their own label etc this is great
ohshutupryan 1st-May-2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
Thank God.
Release a Move On studio version so I can finally get this screaming off my ipod.
xsail_oceans 1st-May-2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
arianagrande 1st-May-2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
Thank god now im even more excited for their new album
alliegator24 1st-May-2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
HELL YEAH. this is such good news. being able to write what the want, when they want, release what they want, and they still have all their old songs they've written... INSANE.

it's been a good couple of days for jonas fans. i'm really stoked for the boys. i'm excited to see what the future holds, because i honestly think there is a lot of success left for them to have. :) smart career move to move on from HR. i think fans have been wanting that for a while.
jayferks 1st-May-2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
i agree. people are doubting them but i think they're moving in 100% the right direction :)
omgitsjoejonas 1st-May-2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
The past few days are like, every Jonas Fan's dream come true. I'm not surprised they managed to keep all their rights and stuff from HWR tho. HWR love them and Jonas Enterprises is extremely powerful, even tho it hasn't exactly been relevant lately. With Jonas Enterprises and all of the links they have, I don't think Jonas Brothers can ever completely fall off of the radar.
justinesays 1st-May-2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
i'm so excited for all the jonasy stuff coming up! (: i missed them.
pseudovirus 1st-May-2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
well this certainly gives them a much better chance at success. now i'm actually interested in listening to this, and i think a lot of people will feel that way--- "what is jonas like outside disney?"

the lead single is going to have to be killer tho to really sway people that they're not a disney boyband anymore.
karajonas3 1st-May-2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
Thank god!!
hormoaning 1st-May-2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
theyr'e never going to let selena go
mysuburbanhell 1st-May-2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
Hopefully now they can release some of those songs that they've sang at concerts and on live chats but never released.
ilogenick 1st-May-2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
I'm so freaking excited, this is going to be AMAZING.
jayferks 1st-May-2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
I WAS SO HAPPY WHEN I SAW A TWEET ABOUT THIS THIS MORNING. this week has been great. i honestly truly think their next album will be their best by least it'll be honest at least.
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