Universal Music Group

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Posted by sonny 04/08/2009 @ 06:13

Tags : universal music group, music industry, entertainment, business

News headlines
Cher, Bono heirs sue Universal Music over royalties - Reuters
By Matthew Belloni LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Cher has sued Universal Music Group, claiming that the label's creative accounting has shortchanged her and the heirs of her late ex-husband, Sonny Bono, to the tune of $5 million....
Cher sues Universal Music Group - PlanetRadiocity
Cher is taking Universal Music Group to court in a battle over more than £3million worth of unpaid royalties. The singer claims that the label engaged in wrongful tactics" to cheat her out of money from the sale of her two compilation albums,...
Sony Joins Vevo, Bing Moves to Number Two and More - BNET
By Sean Blanda | June 5th, 2009 @ 8:36 am Sony joins Vevo — Sony Music Entertainment has announced it will be joining Universal Music Group on Vevo, a site for premium music video content. Described as “Hulu for music videos,” Vevo is set to launch...
Country artists try to build their base abroad - The Associated Press
Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, the 41-year-old superstar is probably more attuned to the universal potential of country music than most. "We played this place in Berlin not too long ago and I was up there singing 'Raining on Sunday' and...
What's going on - NEXT
Reuters says US singer, Cher, has sued Universal Music Group, claiming that the label's creative accounting has short-changed her and the heirs of her late ex-husband, Sonny Bono, to the tune of $5 million. The lawsuit which was filed Tuesday, June 2,...
AP Technology newsbrief at 7:52 am EDT - TMCnet
Sony becomes 2nd label on Vevo music video sitelos ANGELES (AP) _ Recording company Sony Music Entertainment has joined Vevo, an online music video site due to launch this year with the backing of Universal Music Group and youtube. The music unit of...
What is Universal Music Group's Vevo? - CDInsight
Universal Music Group is trying to find a way in to online music sales to help alleviate the pain from declining CD sales. They believe the brainchild of Chairman Doug Morris will do just that and it's called “Vevo.” The Vevo concept is a music video...
Guest Blog: After the Corporate World, Considering Start-Ups - Wall Street Journal
By Alina Dizik Jeff Bronikowski was a senior vice president of business development at Universal Music Group, a New York music company, before his role was eliminated earlier this year. Mr. Bronikowski, 39, also worked for Home Box Office Inc.,...
Briefs: UMG, Borders, Pandora, EMI, U2 - Billboard Business News
By Billboard Staff -- A New York Times article claims both Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group "relaxed" the terms of their licensing deals with Imeem to accommodate the music service's inability thus far to find a business model that does...
"Billy Elliot" dances away with 10 Tony Awards - Washington Post
The Ghetto Youths/Universal release, which he co-produced with his brothers Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Stephen Marley, drew inspiration from the spirit of Cedella Marley Booker, their grandmother (and Bob Marley's mother), who died in 2008....

Universal Music Group


Universal Music Group (UMG) is the largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry. With a 25.5% market share, it is one of the Big Four record labels. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vivendi; Universal Studios, the movie studio, was sold in part to NBC, which itself is part of GE.

UMG owns the largest music publishing business in the world, Universal Music Publishing Group, following the acquisition of BMG Music Publishing in May 2007.

Vivendi's headquarters are in Paris, France. In the United States, UMG is located in Santa Monica, California, and New York City, along with Universal Music Group Nashville; in the UK the group has a number of offices in London and Romford.

With the 2004 acquisition of Vivendi's Vivendi Universal Entertainment by General Electric's NBC, Universal Music Group was separated entirely from its film studio namesake for the first time.

In February 2006, the group became 100% owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi SA when Vivendi purchased the last 20% from Matsushita, the group's sole owner from 1990 to 1995 and co-owner from 1995 to 2006.

On May 25, 2007, Vivendi completed its €1.63 billion ($2.4 billion) purchase of BMG Music Publishing, after receiving European Union regulatory approval, having announced the acquisition on September 6, 2006.

In May 2006, an investigation led by then New York attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, concluded with a determination that Universal bribed radio stations to play songs from Ashlee Simpson, Brian McKnight, Big Tymers, Nick Lachey, Lindsay Lohan and other performers working for Universal labels. The company paid $12 million to the state in settlement.

In May 2007, UMG was accused of abusing DMCA in order to squelch criticism, by forcing YouTube to remove a Michelle Malkin video critical of singer Akon. Eventually, UMG backed off its claims after being challenged by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Recently, UMG has been accused of abusing its power by removing numerous non-profit tribute videos and instrumental covers created by users who use or play songs of bands signed to UMG's labels. UMG is also the "Most Viewed" YouTube user with over 3.7 billion views. The videos uploaded by universalmusicgroup are now only viewable in the United States.

In September 2007, Universal came up with a new way of tackling music piracy by "paying the pirates", beginning with a pilot of tracks from will.i.am (will.i.am music group).

In December 2007, Colbie Caillat inadvertently announced that The Universal Music Group recently enacted a new policy on MySpace.com that will reduce all songs from artists within The Universal Music Group to 90 seconds.

In December 2007 The Label announced a deal with Imeem which allows users of the social network to listen to any track from Universal's catalogue for free with a portion of the advertising generated by the music being shared with the record label. Two weeks after the deal was announced Michael Robertson speculated on the secret terms of the deal and argued that ultimately this was a bad deal for imeem. This speculation lead to a flame war on the Pho digital media email list as imeem representatives denied his claims and dismissed his theories as unfounded.

On January 7, 2008 UMG had announced that the IMF channel would be going off the air as the music group had sold the channel to another network dedicated to showcases of the fine arts. As of January 9, 2008, Channel 157 on Dish Network had officially become Ovation TV.

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Universal Music Group Nashville


Universal Music Group Nashville is Universal Music Group's country music subsidiary. Some of the labels in this group include MCA Nashville Records Mercury Nashville Records, and Lost Highway Records. UMG Nashville not only handles these imprints, but also manages the country music catalogues of record labels Universal Music and predecessor companies acquired over the years including ABC Records, Decca Records, Dot Records, DreamWorks Records, Kapp Records, MGM Records and Polydor Records.

MCA Nashville started out as the country music division of Decca Records in 1945, founded by Paul Cohen in New York. In 1947, Cohen hired Owen Bradley as his assistant working in Nashville. The country music division moved to Nashville in 1955 as much of the country music recording business was locating there. Bradley succeeded Cohen as head of Decca's Nashville division in 1958 and developed Decca into a country music powerhouse. Decca Nashville was renamed MCA Nashville in 1973.

In 1979, MCA Nashville absorbed the country music roster (including Roy Clark, Barbara Mandrell and The Oak Ridge Boys) and back catalogue of ABC Records including the Dot Records catalogue. In the early 1980s, MCA Nashville signed Reba McEntire (who departed the label in late 2008) and George Strait, two of the greatest selling artists of all time and the mega stars on the record label.

In the 1990s MCA Nashville briefly revived the Decca label for country music releases, but it was shut down after Universal Music absorbed PolyGram and chose to reserve the Decca name for classical music releases. While Decca resumed issuing country music in February 2008, the current Decca country music department has no connection with UMG Nashville.

With the absorption of MCA Records into Geffen Records in 2003, MCA Nashville is now the only unit of Universal Music to still use the MCA name.

The still active Mercury Records was founded in Chicago in 1945 issuing recordings in a variety of genres including country music. The Nashville office of Mercury began as a joint venture between Mercury and "Pappy" Daily's established country music record label Starday Records in January 1957. On July 1958, the Mercury/Starday joint venture was dissolved and Starday record producer Shelby Singleton stayed on with Mercury in Nashville, becoming head of Mercury's Nashville office by 1961. Singleton left Mercury in 1966 to form his own company which bought Sun Records in 1969. When Mercury owner PolyGram was purchased by Universal Music Group in 1998, the resulting record label consolidations left Mercury under the The Island Def Jam Music Group umbrella making Mercury in the USA dormant until recently, but still active internationally. The consolidations in Nashville which created UMG Nashville kept the Mercury Nashville imprint active. Reissues of country music recordings first issued on the MGM and Polydor labels bear the Mercury Nashville imprint.

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Record labels owned by Universal Music Group

Note: Most international Universal Music Group companies are licensed to use most of Universal Music's legacy labels, such as Polydor, Mercury, etc. as imprints for their local repertoire artist rosters.

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Universal Music Group v. Augusto

Universal Music Group v. Augusto is a lawsuit filed by Universal Music Group against Troy Augusto, a man who sold promotional CDs on eBay. UMG claims that their promotional CDs marked "promotional use only" are their property for eternity and cannot be resold.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has stepped in on behalf of Augusto and claimed that Augusto has the right to resell the CDs under the first sale doctrine.

Augusto admits that under 17 U.S.C. § 109 he is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of CDs he owns, including the CDs at issue in this action. Augusto admits that the limitation on a copyright holder’s distribution right set forth in 17 U.S.C. § 109 is sometimes referred to as the “first sale doctrine.” Augusto admits that he has cited 17 U.S.C. § 109 from time to time in his auction descriptions. Augusto denies the remaining allegations in this paragraph.

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List of Universal Music Group Nashville artists

This is a list of artists currently on Universal Music Group Nashville.

As MCA Records reissued recordings previously released on other labels, only country music artists whose recordings were first issued on the MCA or MCA Nashville label are to be listed here.

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Island Records

Island Records Logo.svg

Island Records was a record label that was founded by British record producers in Jamaica. It was based in England for many years, but is now owned by Universal Music Group and is operated in the United States through The Island Def Jam Music Group and in the UK through Island Records Group (or simply Island Records or Universal Island).

It had also been activated as the frontline label Island Records Australia by Universal Music Australia.

Island Records was founded in Jamaica in 1959 by Chris Blackwell and Graeme Goodall, taking its name from the 1955 Alec Waugh novel, subsequent film and Harry Belafonte hit song 'Island in the Sun'. The company relocated to the UK in May 1962. Until Blackwell sold the label to PolyGram in 1989, Island was the largest indie record label in history. In the mid-1970s, Island operated its own record pressing plant, but had problems with quality control; many records were defective and had to be returned. Island (UK) contracted EMI to manufacture and distribute their works, from 1972-1977, when higher vinyl prices forced Island to a lower quality manufacturer. EMI regained the duty in 1987.

The first multinational distribution deal for the then-independent label in North America was with RCA Records in Canada, developing the label and for almost a decade under label manager Cathy Hahn, prior to its move to Warner. The RCA deal yielded Bob Marley's first gold album for North American record sales with the release of "Exodus", and also marked Island's first gold album certification for North American Record sales. Island did, however, incorporate and operate business offices in the U.S. and Canada in the 1970s and 1980s.

Island's overseas licensing arrangements were often such that Island was marketed as the primary label, with Island Records credited on sleeve spines, and Island's label designs appearing prominently on the discs themselves, even when a different company was responsible for the records' manufacture, distribution and marketing. Sometimes the fine print on these releases would mention the other company, sometimes not. For example, Island-branded records were released by companies such as Bell Records (U.S., 1967–68), A&M Records (U.S., 1969-1970s) Asylum Records (U.S., 1970), Capitol Records (U.S., early 1970s), Warner Bros. Records (U.S., 1975–1982), WEA Records (Canada, et al.), Atlantic Records (U.S., 1982–1989), Phonogram Records (Germany, ?–1971), Ariola Records (Germany, 1971–1992; Netherlands, late 1970s–1989), Dacapo (Portugal), and others. One anomaly is that Rupert Murdoch's Festival Records (Australia & New Zealand) (now owned by Warner Music) got to promote its brand more prominently than most.

Although this strategy of the Island brand dominating releases helped prevent the brand from becoming marginalized, Island struggled as a business in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Bob Marley had died, Irish rock band U2, which had signed to Island in March 1980, were growing in popularity, but had not reached the international superstar status that was to come, and a joint arrangement with Trevor Horn's fledgling ZTT label had diminishing returns. Blackwell had also used the label to finance a new film production and distribution company, Island Alive, in 1983. In the mid-1980s, U2 helped keep the label afloat with a loan that Blackwell repaid by expanding U2's royalties and giving the band control of its master recordings.

In July 1989, Blackwell sold Island Records and Island Music to PolyGram UK Group for £272 million. From this point on, Island was no longer an independent company. Although PolyGram continued to market the brand, Blackwell stayed on as CEO of PolyGram's Island Entertainment division. PolyGram immediately began reissuing much of the Island back catalogue on compact disc and expanded Island's reach through its global manufacture and distribution network, but the label was relatively unfocused in the 1990s. Island World Communications, which was headed by Blackwell, as well as Mike Preece, Laurence Guinness and Andy Frain, created Manga Entertainment Ltd, the Japanese Anime and Live Action Japanese film division of Island in 1991. Manga and Island bought the distribution license for Akira from ICA Projects in London and was Manga's first release. Manga and Island struck deals with many Independent Australian entertainment companies to release Manga's titles in the early 90's. In 1994, Island sold the distribution licenses for most of Manga's releases to Siren Entertainment, an independent entertainment company in Australia. Those rights were then given to Madman Entertainment in 1999 when Siren became solely an acquisitions company. Its 4th & Broadway division, operating since the mid-1980s, achieved some success marketing alternative hip hop and dance-pop music. In November 1997, Blackwell resigned from Island Entertainment (some sources say he was fired) and went on to form Palm Pictures the following year. Then in 1998 all of the Polygram and associated labels were purchased by Universal-Vivendi, the various labels now asserting the imprint under the umbrella of UMG, or Universal Music Group, LLC.

This article deals mostly with the commercial history of the label, and over the years its output has been prolific. For a comprehensive list of releases, see the Discography.

This list is probably incomplete, and some of the dates are uncertain.

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Source : Wikipedia