Universal Music Group launches Virgin Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG) has launched Virgin Music Group, a new global division that will unify UMG’s industry-leading artist services businesses under the leadership of music entrepreneurs and mtheory founders JT Myers and Nat Pastor as co-CEOs.
Together Myers and Pastor will lead the expansion of UMG’s independent music capabilities across all of its business units and regions, reporting to UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge. The new division will include:
Virgin Music Label & Artist Services – launched in 2021, Virgin Music Label & Artist Services is a network of regional hubs in the world’s leading music markets, delivering premium artist and label services to the industry’s most dynamic entrepreneurs and independent talent
Ingrooves Music Group – acquired by UMG in 2019, Ingrooves is a leader in music distribution, marketing and technology that empowers labels and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and thrive in the global music industry. Ingrooves’ comprehensive suite of offerings includes marketing strategy, insights and analytics, rights management, advertising, royalty accounting, video monetisation, and music licensing.
mtheory Artist Partnerships – UMG has acquired mtheory’s bespoke label division, mtheory Artist Partnerships. mtheory’s Manager Services business is not part of the transaction and will remain wholly independent. The label creates aligned, equitable partnerships with artists, and employs an innovative global marketing approach, which has eatned them more than 80 Gold and Platinum certifications in 23 countries worldwide. The mtheory Artist Partnerships team was behind Major Lazer’s award-winning single Lean On, the most streamed track of all time, which was also the first fully independent track to be certified Diamond by the RIAA and the first fully independent track to reach number one on the US Top 40 radio chart.
All Virgin Music Label and Artist Services regional hubs will become part of the Virgin Music Group, operating under a unified strategy while still leveraging the local A&R expertise and creative networks in their respective countries. This includes Virgin Music Label & Artist Services in the US, which will evolve from a division of Capitol Music Group to a standalone company serving all UMG’s US labels and partners.
Music has been at the heart of the Virgin Group from its very early days. Virgin Records changed the music industry when it was founded in 1972 with a completely new approach. Independent music distribution and disruption have been a catalyst in Virgin’s global success throughout its long history: from its pioneering roots in prog, reggae, punk and new wave; with distributed labels including Frontline, Stiff, Charisma and Circa; to the creation of Caroline and Astralwerks that both became successful divisions of the UMG label family.
Virgin Records also served as home to some to the most influential artists of the past century including David Bowie, Sex Pistols, Aaliyah, The Rolling Stones, George Michael, Janet Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Culture Club, Massive Attack and Spice Girls.
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