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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Universal Music Group Drops Distribution Company

Universal Music Group officially dropped the name Universal Music Group Distribution (UMGD), and updated its U.S. structure. In a digital market, where applications like Spotify, Tidal, and iTunes have limited the number of hard copies purchased by consumers; it looks like Universal Music Group will be placing more interest in marketing and e-commerce operations.

The Universal Music Group Distribution company will be dismantled, but Candace Berry (previously General Manager of UMGD) will remain as Executive VP of sales. Mike Tunnicliffe, Executive VP of business development will be in charge of previous brand partnership responsibilities. Cynthia Sexton, who was previously Executive VP of brand partnerships for East Coast labels, has been named executive VP of partnership CONTENT. Her main focus is to bring in more revenue and exposure for UMG artists and their work, through the company’s outside partners. One way of doing that would be acquiring more features for UMG artists with more popular artists from partnered brand imprints, such as Young Money for example.

UMG will also be bringing in outside talent to help stay afloat in a music industry that has all but collapsed. We know how big of a role culture plays in the types of music we listen to, and even products we buy. So, Todd Goodwin will bring his experience from Sony to UMG as VP of college & lifestyle marketing, working closely with labels to build overall marketing strategies. Peter Sinclair, from ScoreBig.com will be Senior VP of consumer engagement. His job is to basically come up with strategies to better connect UMG artists with there fans. Christine Webby comes in as Senior VP of artist & label integrated rights, to track and secure ancillary rights and revenues from 360 deals. This is extremely important because in today’s music business a large portion of artists’ revenue comes from non-recorded music (shows, appearances etc.) and endorsements.

360 deals have become the topic of many household discussions; as rumors of artists selling their souls, and becoming members of “The Illuminati” have brought light to a legitimate business practice. However, the light has made many successful independent artists unwilling to sign major record deals. The question being, why get into debt and become a slave to a corporation when digital distribution (as TatWza can attest to) costs next to nothing? Will a focus in marketing change the game for the majors? What does the future hold for the music business as we know it?!

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