Amid a broader embrace of non-music entertainment from artists, Universal Music Group (UMG) has officially launched UMusic Media Network, which higher-ups describe as “a comprehensive media and data offering to uniquely connect brands and partners with exclusive media.”
The Big Three record label, and specifically its Universal Music Group for Brands (UMGB) partnerships division, just recently announced the rollout of UMusic Media Network. This public launch arrives on the heels of a year-long beta, which execs say saw advertiser “content achieve millions of views from music fans globally, alongside artist content.”
Also according to Universal Music Group, the newly minted operation affords brands access to “premium, culturally relevant content” as well as “data and insights” from the major label. The former encompasses “music videos, songs and lyrics videos, original content, behind-the-scenes and artist vlogs, and lifestyle content from UMG-owned platforms,” per the formal message from the company, which is expected to release BTS members’ solo projects via Geffen Records.
And these UMG-owned platforms, for their part, include Rebel Labs (which focuses on UGC for short-form video apps), Mercury Studios (a nearly two-year-old “content studio”), and Polygram Entertainment (Universal Music’s film and television arm).
In terms of the initially highlighted embrace of non-music entertainment from (and involving the work of) artists, UMG’s latest contracts with Drake and The Weeknd cover brands, film, and television alike, while the business is likewise positioning itself to license more niche apps than ever.
Worth mentioning is that UMusic Media Network is poised to provide “a uniquely holistic and creative solution for each advertiser’s objectives and needs,” UMG has relayed – presumably meaning that the division is set to spearhead all manner of campaigns.
On the leadership side, UMusic Media Network will be led by UMGB EVP and global head Richard Yaffa (who spent over a decade as a marketing and sales exec at Sony Music’s Columbia Records) as well as UMGB SVP of media and properties Morgan Buksbaum (formerly VP of brand content and partnerships for iHeartMedia’s Sound Board content studio).
Addressing UMusic Media Network’s debut in a statement, Yaffa emphasized the perceived potential associated with the opportunity for clients “to hyper-target culturally relevant content.”
“Through this cutting-edge new platform, UMG artists can create destination programming exclusively for brands, giving our partners the ability to hyper-target culturally relevant content where they have not been able to do before,” Yaffa said in part. “When advertisers connect with culturally relevant content and associate their brand with our artists, consumers feel greater brand affinity and engage with those ads more actively.”