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Exam Case Study By Jordan Sibley

Major Record Label Research

Ownership UMG is comprised of two core businesses – - recorded music - music publishing

Universal music publishing -


Bravado Companies

VEVO -YouTube

Universal music enterprises - Universal chronicles - UTV Records - HIP-O Records - New Door Records - Universal music media - Universal film & television music.

Labels that it owns – -

A&M/ Octane Decca ECM Interscop Geffen A&M records Island Def Jam Music group Mercury records Polydor records Universal Mowtown republic group Universal music Latino UMG Nashville

These are just a few of popular of labels that it owns. Artists that are signed to UMG and it’s independent labels include -

Lady Gaga Eminem Amy Winehouse


Alphabeat Morrissey Cheryl Cole Elbow White Lies Snow Patrol

A rang of artists that appeal to broad range of music fans.

Production UMG does sell CD’s and vinyl still. You can purchase these from shops like HMV which they sell CD’s at around £12.99 - £1.99 and vinyl from £17.99 £11.99. CD’s have a larger production than vinyl so they can be sold more cheaply to make a profit. Youtube use for A&R scouts of major labels such as UMG to scout artists to sign.

Marketing Universal uses lots of media to advertise new music they use there website, YouTube and TV advertisements. On there Myspace page they have promotions of upcoming releases and new music videos. They have tabs to news about the label and another tab to its other labels. They also have a blog were they post any new coming artists, songs, albums of existing artists. On there YouTube account they feature new upcoming music videos, they have separate play lists for different genres of music. They have 56 currently upcoming gigs and tour dates these includes Mr Hudson & the library, Keane, Snow Patrol, Elton john, Yello, A-ha. is the UK based website, which has a full roster of artists, as well as breaking news, competitions, photos and music videos. You can get exclusive privileges when signed up to the site. This is a useful mechanism as can breakdown, the age, gender, musical interest and email addresses for fans of the site. You can share things on Facebook from the site like music videos.

Distribution Universal music group distribution has been in the industry market share leader for the past ten years and consists of four major divisions – UMD, Fontana, Vivendi Entertainment and UMGD Digital. -

UMD handles distribution and sales for UMG’s diverse roster of labels as well as a wide variety of associated labels. Fontana is the company’s independent sale marketing and distribution arm. VE is it’s theoretical and home entertainment distribution division.


UMGD digital manages and distributes all of UMG digital assets including mobile.

Other information • • •

The company discovers, develops, markets and distributes recorded music through a network of subsidiaries, joint ventures and licenses in 77 countries – representing 98% of music market. UMG sells and distributes music video and DVD products, and licenses recordings, encouraging the legal distribution of music online and over cellar, cable and satellite networks. UMG includes universal music Latin entertainment – the worlds leading Latin Music Company.

UMG’S music publishing company, Universal music publishing – worlds leading publishing business – it owns and acquires rights to musical compositions and licenses them for use in recordings and related uses, such as films and advertisements – includes Bravado, it’s merchandising company, Twenty – First Artists, it’s full serverex management division, Helter Skelter, it’s live music agency. UMG international is the division that manages UMG’s businesses in other countries outside of North America.

Music Catalogue Representing some of the most influential and legendary recording artists of the last 100 years, UMG has the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry including, ABBA, James Brown, The Jackson Five, The Mamas and The Papas, Nirvanna and The Who. Universal Music Enterprises is centralised U.S catalogue and special markets entity for UMG. UMe provides front line approach to catalogue management, a concentration on resources, a gather emphasis on strategic marketing initiatives and opportunities in the new technologies UMe is comprised of several business units and record labels. -


Universal Chronicles, the unit that manages and markets UMG’s extensive catalogue through retail channels. UTV Records – the television marketing unit. Hip-O Records - it’s independent label, that releases CD’s and DVD’s. New Door Records – a label dedicated to producing new music from historically significant recording artists, who’s catalogue is controlled by UMG labels ; UMe Digital the first all digital label from a major company. Universal Music Media Universal Film & Television Music

Music Publishing Universal have 51 offices in 43 countries UMPG is the industries largest global music. Bravado – the only global, 360 full service merchandise company, develops and markets high quality licensed merchandised to a world wide audience. UMG also includes some of the worlds leading full – servicing artist’s management businesses, including Twenty – First Artist, Trinifold and 5B. VEVO Leading innovative online premium music and entertainment service for consumers, advertisers and content owners that blend the very best in musical content with cutting – edge video technology and a thriving community powered by YouTube. Sony music and most recently EMI have signed a contract with VEVO – this makes up of three of the four major record companies. VEVO offers 85% of music videos.

Time Line 1898 - Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft was established by the National Grammophon Company. 1924 - Polydor introduced as second brand name for Deutshe Grammophon abroad - Music Corporation of America (MCA) founded as a talent agency in Chicago by Dr. Jules Stein. 1934 - British – based Decca Record Co. launches Decca Records in American. 1936 - Lew Wasserman joins MCA and develops the company into a leading talent agency representing some of the world’s top entertainers. 1949 - MCA begins producing TV shows under its original television division, Revue Productions. 1952 - Decca acquires controlling interest in Universal Pictures. 1958 - MCA acquires the Universal Studios property and purchases Paramount’s pre-1948 film library for its MCA TC division. The company is incorporated as MCA INC. 1959 - MCA INC. becomes a public company.

1962 - MCA INC. and Universal Pictures officially merge when MCA acquired Decca Records, Universal’s parent company. - Philips and siemens establish a record company joint venture with Philips gaining 50% of Deutsche Grammophon and Siemens gaining 50% of PPI. - Philips acquires Mercury Records. 1964 - MCA Music Publishing begins to take shape with MCA INC.’s purchase of Leeds Music and Duchess Music. 1972 - Universal Amphitheatre opens in Universal City, beginning Universal’s interests in the ownership and operation of concert venues and live entertainment promotion. - Philips and Siemens subsidiaries reorganize as PolyGram. - PolyGram acquires Verve Records. 1973 - Decca (U.S) evolves into MCA Records. 1979 - MCA INC. purchases ABC Records, with the company’s artist roster and catalogue eventually merging into MCA Records. 1980 - PolyGram acquires London-based classical label Decca. 1982 - Philips and PolyGram launch the Compact Disc worldwide. 1985 - MCA INC. acquires Chess Records. 1986 - PolyGram establishes PolyGram Music Publishing. 1987 - PolyGram becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Philips. 1989 - PolyGram acquires Island Records. - PolyGram completes initial public stock offering of 35 million shares. 1990 - MCA INC. acquires Geffen Records and GRP Records to join the family of labels within the MCA Music Entertainment Group. - PolyGram acquirers A&M Records. 1993 - PolyGram acquires Mowtown Records. - PolyGram completes offering of 10 million new shares. Phillips now owns 75% of PolyGram shares, with remaining 25% publicly held. 1994 - PolyGram acquires 50% of Def Jam Recordings. 1995 - Seagram acquires 80% of MCA INC. - Rising Tide (to be renamed Universal Records) established by MCA Music Entertainment Group. - PolyGram acquired Rodven Records, Latin America’s largest independent record company.


PolyGram forms the Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Company through a 50/50 partnership.

1996 - MCA Music Entertainment Group acquires 50% of Interscope Records. - MCA INC. renamed Universal Studios, Inc. and the MCA Music Entertainment Group renamed Universal Music Group. - Hip-O Records established by UMG. - PolyGram acquires additional 10% of Def Jam. 1998 - Seagram acquires PolyGram, renaming the newly combines music operations UMG. 1999 - MCA Music Publishing is renamed Universal Music Publishing. - Universal Music Enterprises (UME), newly centralized U.S catalogue and special markets entity, is created. - Decca and Philips merge to form Decca Music Group - UMG partners with BMG to form GetMusic, an internet content and commerce alliance, and the e-commerce sire, - UMG purchases the remaining interest in Def Jam Records. 2000 - UMG acquired Ronder Music, International Publishing Company. 2001 - UMG exclusive distribution and worldwide licensing agreement with Univision Music Group. 2002 - UMG offers music fans largest catalogue of digital downloads with more than 75,000 tracks. 2003 - UMG acquires DreamWorks Records. - UMG teams with eBay to launch “Universal Music Store� - UMG dramatically reduces CD prices to $12.98 for top line releases. - Universal Records signs distribution deal with Bad Boy Records. 2004 - UMG achieved a 43.07% market share for the week-ending November 14th, the highest in SoundScan history. - UMe Digital, an all-digital download label, is formed. - UMVD creates independent distribution division, Fontana. 2005 - Gwen Stefani becomes first artist to sell one million commercial downloads. - UMG launches Universal Music Mobile US. 2006 - UMG and Microsoft Corp announce agreement for Zune player. - Chamillinaire sells over 3 million mastertones. - Universal Music UK launches Global Productions. - UMVD changes name to UMGD. 2007 - UMG announces deal with imeem. - Akon is Top Selling Mastertone Artist of All Time. - UMG acquires BMG Music Publishing.

2008 2009 -

UMG partners with MySpace to create MySpace Music. UMG delivers 1 billion video streams on YouTube. Sony Music Entertainment joins VEVO UMG forms VEVO

UMG Website The website has options to its Artists, Information on the company, its labels and publishing, music, links and news. The news section keeps you up to date with what the company is doing and with all its sectors and signed labels as well. Music part shows all of the latest releases from artists from in the U.S and outside.

Social Networks MySpace UMG’s MySpace features some of its latest releases at the top of the page so the viewer can see it a soon as they come on the page. Also there is Music player were can play some songs artists signed to the label. It has 20094 friends ( 16/05/10 ). You can view photos, news and artists signed. It is open to the public so it has to privacy setting set so anyone can access it even if there not part of the MySpace community. Facebook UMG’s Facebook features its wall with lots of posts posted daily with updates of news and upcoming releases and new music videos from signed artists and bands. Also Info on its other labels and links to other social networks it’s connected to and its own website. Also you can sign-up to a news letter to get exclusive news on everything the company does and you can view photos. It is public so there is not restrictions to who can view it weather you are a member of Facebook or not. It has 10, 848 fans. Twitter Twitter is simple social site were you tweet your thoughts and follow other people to view there tweets. UMG’s Twitter tweets are daily showing updates on new gigs, releases, news in general about the company, It has 46, 640 followers and they have tweeted 1, 666 times. Also it has lists which are lists that are connected to other twitters. It has a list of it regional team, artists and labels.

YouTube UMG have there own music channel on YouTube, which all there videos are powered by VEVO. It features a header with an advertisement for a recent

release with download button linked iTunes. Its video channel has play lists with its top videos and other genres, these are updated daily. Its channel has 1, 096, 657 subscribers and total of upload views of 2, 388, 749, 626.

Online Streaming UMG’s artists and bands are featured on Spotify and Last.FM. On these live streamers you can purchase the music if you want it. These two live streamers have there own players that you can download, Last.FM don’t have advertisements but Spotify do. Spoyify’s user base is currently 6million with 250, 000 premium subscribers. Spotify is UMG’s biggest digital provider by volume, and it’s fourth biggest income (with iTunes being the industries leader).

Long Tail Last FM (16/05/10)

1# Coldplay – 154, 698, 394 plays 2# Snow Patrol – 52, 313, 800 plays 3# The Fray – 28, 461, 529 plays 4# Athlete – 8, 158, 855 plays 5# Air Traffic – 3, 459, 537 plays

YouTube Total upload views (16/05/10)

1# Coldplay - 29, 785, 906 2# Snow Patrol – 3, 451, 959 3# The Fray – 2, 620, 281 4# Athlete – 877, 741 5# Air Traffic -216, 809

Radio 1 Play list – The A list Aggro Santos (Mercury Records) Featuring Kimberly Wyatt (A&M) – Candy Justin Bieber (Island) – Somebody to love Taio Cruz (Island) – Dirty Picture Drake (Universal Mowtown) –Over Ellie Goulding (Polydor) – Guns and Horses Rihanna (Def Jam) – Te Amo

Independent Record Label Research

Hungry Audio are a independent label, which was formed in 2004. They are an indie genre which is more specialised than UMG. It’s rosters includes artists/bands – - The Papertiger Sound - Mia Vigar - Sennen - The Telescopes - Master Solo - The Walk Off - My Favourite - The Sadtowns - Stuffy/ The Fuses - The Aprons Hungry Audio started off signing the Telescopes who were already well know before the label. The band formed in 1987. There first release from Hungry Audio was Winter EP which got positive reviews from NME, Drowned Sound and numerous others. My Favourite are also a well known band signed to Hungry Audio. They released ‘Happiest Days of My Life’ in 2005 and it was later featured in the film ‘Another Gay Movie’ in 2006. Sennen are another one of Hungry Audios big signing when they released there first long player in 2005 it was picked up by Radio 1 and 6music and several of there tracks were played. The labels account on Twitter keeps all reader up to date frequently also on there Facebook keeping them up to date with new releases and news. The label have there own show on Future Radio and some of there songs are played on Radio 1. Music from Sennen has been played on a episode of One Tree Hill season 7 which was there cover of New Order ‘ Bizarre Love Triangle’. Last FM, Youtube, Myspace and Spotify all live streams music from the label.

Long Tail Last FM ( 22/05/10)

1# The Telescopes 367, 490

2# Sennen - 75, 324 plays

3# Mia Vigar – 5, 414 plays

Youtube (22/05/10)

1# Sennen – 1, 068

2# Mia Vigar - 396

Ownership Hungry Audio has 5 partners – Adrian Cooke, Stewart Nash, Alan Southgate, Rob Childhouse and Chris Bourn. This is the third label that ADRIAN Cooke has ran. They have a local PR, who specialises in indie bands and helps run with websites and blogs. They also have a PR based in London. The label has recently set up a publishing company, to help with getting music into games and TV. They approach bands by hearing them on MySpace or going to see them live.

Production When Hungry Audio was formed in 2004 they started off selling 7 “singles. They now stock CD’s and Vinyl and even digital downloads. There CD’s are sold in HMV, Hungry Audio gets 30% of CD sales of their artists. The artists themselves market there own merchandise.

Marketing They are strong users of Twitter and Myspace which can help them promote there artists. Although Adrian did say ‘MySpace is useful, although 20 years ago we would have been making much more money’. All the artists have MySpace accounts which are all linked on Hungry Audios website and there are also links to a majority of the artists own websites. Sennen only have there own YouTube account which features videos and live performances. The Telescopes, Sennen and Mia Vigar have all had positive reviews from NME. Hungry Audio have there own club night at the arts centre with live acts performing, also other gigs elsewhere e.g. London and Liverpool.

Distribution HMV stocks the labels CDS for around £10 – HMV buys them off the distributor for around £5.50. They sell digital downloads on iTunes for 79p per track and around £5 - £1 an album. Hungry Audio have embraced social networking side of new media, with Twitter and MySpace accounts. It also uses iTunes and Last FM to distribute free downloads. They stream on Spotify which is good to get there music out there but it has its bad points in were it has a negative effect on sales. Unlike universal who can afford to spare a few song streams and royalty fees not being paid, hungry audio can’t. ShellShock are there distributors.

Research Areas

Chris Andersons Long Tail Music websites have music suggestions.

Big hits are still important for the labels.

Digital Downloads Online Retailers: Amazon : Hybrid Retailers Post Physical CD’s ect iTunes: Pure Digital Can stocks much more than high street stores.

Less Focus on hits…they make money on niche music unavailable on high street.

56% of profits come from products may down the long tail – Niche non-mainstream on the high street.

IFPI Digital Music Report 2010 facts -

Global sales fell by around 30% from 2004 to 2009 Online and Mobile revenues account for around 40% of music sales Companies have licensed more that 11 million tracks to around 400 legal music services worldwide. Beyonce’s ‘ I Am…Sasha Fierce ‘ album is available in more than 260 different products in the US including music videos, mastertones, ringback tones and audio tracks Past couple years, music companies have partnered with ad-supported services such as Spotify, Deezer, MySpace Music and We7. 70% of all music consumed in the US, UK, France and Germany came through digital channels, while revenues from digital platforms in those countries accounted for only 35% of industry revenues. In the US, only 18% of internet users aged 13 and over regularly buy digital music today. In 2009 for example, mobile applications brought streaming services Spotify, Deezer and others to devices like the iPhone. Spoyify’s primary objective is to migrate illegal file-shares to its service, shifting 15-25 year old music fans legal model that puts money back into creation of new music. Digital now accounts for 27% of label income


Global digital music trade revenues were valued at $4.2bn (2.6bn) in 2009, an increase of 12% from 2008. Overall, digital sales have grown 940% since 2004. However the total recorded music business fell 30% over the same period.

Music and Institutions Research  

Record label research on Universal and Hungry Audio

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