Iconic brand revitalized as powerful new global network
Universal Music Group (UMG) has announced the launch of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services, a new global network delivering premium and flexible artist and label services to the industry’s most dynamic entrepreneurs and independent talent worldwide, inspired and influenced by the spirit and ethos of the iconic Virgin Records label.
“Virgin has long been a name synonymous with disruptive innovation, musical creativity and entrepreneurialism,” states Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG. “We are thrilled to announce the reinvigoration of this iconic music brand as a new model for global distribution and label services – combining UMG’s unrivaled regional executive teams with dedicated resources and best-in-class services and technology, to help foster long-term partnerships and deliver global success for the next generation of independent labels and artist talent. In total, this global launch represents an important evolution of our industry-leading strategy to be an accelerator and vital partner for the music’s best independent artists and entrepreneurs.”
“I’m proud that half a century after we opened our first independent record shop in London, the Virgin Music name continues to represent the very best entrepreneurs, innovators, and artists from the world of music today,” states Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson.
Founded in 1972 in the U.K. by Branson, Virgin Records has helped redefine music culture for almost half a century. Independent music distribution and disruption have been a key catalyst in Virgin’s global success throughout its 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, both now successful divisions within the UMG label family.
Virgin Records also served as home to some of the most influential and reverential artists of the past century, including: David Bowie; The Sex Pistols; Aaliyah; The Rolling Stones; George Michael; Janet Jackson; Lenny Kravitz; Culture Club; Massive Attack; and the Spice Girls.
To build on its rich cultural and musical legacy, Virgin Music Label & Artist Services will be led in each region by highly skilled executive teams, providing fully resourced regional hubs that combine UMG’s industry-leading technology platforms, specialist local networks and expertise with UMG’s global strength and reach, alongside a suite of resources to help position labels and artists for long-term success globally and to empower the next generation of independent artists and labels to reach new audiences around the world.
Effective immediately, Virgin Music Label & Artist Services will provide artists global solutions, with fully staffed operations already established in the world’s top five music markets (U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, France) and across Latin America, the world’s fastest-growing region for the past five years. Additional operations will launch in the coming months.