The Info List - Universal Music Group

--- Advertisement ---


UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP (also known in the United States
United States
as UMG RECORDINGS, INC. and abbreviated as UMG) is an American global music corporation that is a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi . UMG's global corporate headquarters are in Santa Monica
Santa Monica
, California
. It is considered one of the "Big Three " record labels, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group .


* 1 History

* 1.1 Early history * 1.2 Acquisition by Vivendi * 1.3 2010s and EMI
purchase * 1.4 2012–present: EMI
integration and divisions reorganization

* 2 Labels * 3 Multimedia content delivery

* 4 Locations

* 4.1 Los Angeles metropolitan area

* 4.1.1 Santa Monica
Santa Monica
* 4.1.2 Hollywood * 4.1.3 Universal City

* 4.2 New York City * 4.3 London * 4.4 Berlin
* 4.5 Warsaw * 4.6 Other locations

* 5 Criticism and controversies

* 5.1 CD price fixing * 5.2 Payola * 5.3 YouTube
* 5.4 Myspace * 5.5 Megaupload

* 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links


For history prior to 1996, see MCA Records
MCA Records


Universal Music was once the record company attached to film studio Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
. Its origins go back to the formation of the American branch of Decca Records
Decca Records
in September 1934. The Decca Record Co. Ltd. of England spun American Decca off in 1939. MCA Inc. merged with American Decca in 1962. The present organization was formed when its parent company Seagram purchased PolyGram in May 1998 and merged it with Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
in early 1999. However, the name had first appeared in 1996 when MCA Music Entertainment Group was renamed Universal Music Group. The PolyGram acquisition included Deutsche Grammophon which traces its ancestry to Berliner Gramophone making Deutsche Grammophon
Deutsche Grammophon
UMG's oldest unit. UMG's Canadian unit traces its ancestry to a Berliner Gramophone breakaway firm the Compo Company .


With the 2004 acquisition of Universal Studios by General Electric and merging with GE's NBC
, Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
was cast under separate management from the eponymous film studio. This is the second time a music company has done so, the first being the separation of Time Warner and Warner Music Group . In February 2006, the label became 100% owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi when Vivendi purchased the last 20% from Matsushita (renamed as Panasonic Corporation in 2008), the group's sole owner from 1990 to 1995 and co-owner from 1995 to 2006. On June 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.


Doug Morris stepped down from his position as CEO on January 1, 2011. Former chairman/CEO of Universal Music International Lucian Grainge was promoted to CEO of the company. Grainge later replaced him as chairman on March 9, 2011. Morris became the next chairman of Sony Music Entertainment on July 1, 2011. With Grainge's appointment as CEO at UMG, Max Hole was promoted to COO of UMGI, effective July 1, 2010. Starting in 2011 UMG's Interscope Geffen A&M Records will be signing contestants from _ American Idol
American Idol
_/_ Idol series _. On January 2011, UMG announced it was donating 200,000 master recordings from the 1920s to 1940s to the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
for preservation.

In March 2011, Barry Weiss became chairman & CEO of The Island Def Jam Music Group & Universal Republic Records . Both companies are restructuring under Weiss. In December 2011, David Foster was named Chairman of Verve Music Group .

On November 12, 2011, it was announced EMI
would sell its recorded music operations to Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
for £1.2 billion ($1.9 billion) and its music publishing operations to a Sony
-led consortium for $2.2 billion. Among the other companies that had competed for the recorded music business was Warner Music Group which was reported to have made a $2 billion bid. However, IMPALA
has said it would fight the merger. In March 2012, the European Union opened an investigation into Universal's purchase of EMI's recorded music division and has asked rivals and consumer groups whether the deal will result in higher prices and shut out competitors. Coincidentally, UMG sister company StudioCanal has owned the EMI Films library for several years.

On September 21, 2012, the sale of EMI
to UMG was approved in Europe and the United States
United States
by the European Commission and Federal Trade Commission respectively. However, the European Commission approved the deal only under the condition the merged company divest one third of its total operations to other companies with "a proven track record in the music industry". UMG divested Mute Records , Parlophone , Roxy Recordings , MPS Records , Cooperative Music , Now That\'s What I Call Music! , Jazzland , Universal Greece, Sanctuary Records , Chrysalis Records , EMI Classics , Virgin Classics and EMI\'s European regional labels to comply with this condition. The Beatles
The Beatles
' recorded music library was allowed to remain with UMG despite being considered part of Parlophone and is now managed by UMG's reorganized Capitol Music Group worldwide. Robbie Williams , who had recorded for Chrysalis, had his catalogue transferred to Universal's Island Records
Island Records


Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
completed their acquisition of EMI
on September 28, 2012. In November 2012, Steve Barnett was appointed chairman ">

On April 1, 2014, Universal Music announced the disbandment of Island Def Jam Music , one of four operational umbrella groups within Universal Music. Universal CEO Lucian Grainge said of the closure, "No matter how much we might work to build 'IDJ' as a brand, that brand could never be as powerful as each of IDJ's constituent parts." Effective on the day of the announcement, Island Records
Island Records
and Def Jam will now operate as autonomous record labels. David Massey and Bartels, who worked respectively at Island and Def Jam Records, will lead the new record labels independently. Barry Weiss who previously moved from Sony Music to head up Island Def Jam Music back in 2012 when Motown Records was incorporated into Island Def Jam has stepped down from Universal Music. Additionally, as part of the changes to the labels, Motown Records will be transferred to Los Angeles to become part of the Capitol Music Group
Capitol Music Group
—previous Vice President Ethiopia Habtemariam was promoted to Label President for Motown Records. Republic Records now operates independently while the Interscope Geffen A"> Universal Music Publishing Headquarters in Santa Monica, California.

The UMG main global headquarters are located at 2220 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica
Santa Monica
. The Santa Monica
Santa Monica
headquarters oversees its legal obligations in the US and Canada such as Human Resources
Human Resources
, and any legal issues surrounding the company. Interscope-Geffen-A&M and Verve Music Group are based at their LA headquarters with John Janick heading Interscope-Geffen-A&M and David Foster heading Verve. Def Jam , Island and Republic Records has some offices at the Santa Monica headquarters. The building is also home to Universal Music Enterprises (UME). UMG chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge works out of the company's Santa Monica
Santa Monica
headquarters. Universal Music Publishing is headquartered at 2100 Colorado Avenue, which is down the block from UMG's offices.


The Capitol Music Group
Capitol Music Group
is headquartered at the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood . Tom Cage was assigned to the record label in 2004 after a short outing with A">_ The headquarter of the Universal Music GmbH_ is located in Berlin-Friedrichshain

Universal Music Group Distribution is headquartered in Universal City, CA .


UMG has a major workforce in New York City. UMG's New York City headquarters deals mainly with Universal's marketing, Information Systems, and finance. It is also where several of UMG's labels are headquartered. Island Records
Island Records
, Def Jam Recordings , Republic Records , Decca Label Group and the newly re-launched Geffen Records are all headquartered in New York City.


Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
Global (formerly known as _Universal Music Group International (UMGI)_) is headquartered in High Street Kensington, London. Global manages UMG's offices in most countries outside of North America.


Universal Music GmbH, the German subsidiary, is headquartered in Berlin
. It has moved in 2002 from Hamburg to the district Friedrichshain at the river Spree


Universal Music Group. Universal Music Polska


Universal Music Latin Entertainment is headquartered in Woodland Hills, California
while Universal Music Group Nashville is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
. Universal Music Group's parent company, Vivendi , is headquartered in Paris, France.



Main article: CD price fixing

Between 1995 and 2000, music companies were found to have used illegal marketing agreements such as minimum advertised pricing to artificially inflate prices of compact discs in order to end price wars by discounters such as Best Buy
Best Buy
and Target in the early 1990s. A settlement in 2002 included the music publishers and distributors; Sony Music , Warner Music , Bertelsmann Music Group , EMI
Music and Universal Music Group. In restitution for price fixing they agreed to pay a $67.4 million fine and distribute $75.7 million in CDs to public and non-profit groups but admitted no wrongdoing. It is estimated suppliers/customers were overcharged by nearly $500 million and up to $5 per album which conflicts with proof of sale and purchase interests.


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


In May 2007, UMG was accused of abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in order to quell criticism, by forcing YouTube
to remove several videos which contained UMG's music. Eventually, UMG retracted its claims after being challenged by the Electronic Frontier Foundation . In the same year, UMG was accused of using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to indiscriminately remove content related to the artist Prince , most notably a twenty-nine-second home video in which a child danced to one of Prince's songs. In April 2016, UMG had the audio muted of a video clip showing Katherine Jenkins singing the British national anthem. They claimed that " God Save the Queen " was a copyrighted song, and YouTube
initially complied with this request, but later allowed the video to be viewed with the original audio track.


In December 2007, UMG 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. All traffic was redirected to MySpace after the company acquired Imeem on December 8, 2009.


On December 9, 2011, Megaupload published a music video titled: "The Mega Song", showing artists including Kanye West , Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg
, Alicia Keys and will.i.am endorsing the company. The music video was also uploaded to YouTube, but was removed following a takedown request by UMG. Megaupload said that the video contained no infringing content, commenting: "we have signed agreements with every featured artist for this campaign". Megaupload requested an apology from UMG, and filed a lawsuit against the company in the United States
United States
District Court for the Northern District of California
, on December 12, 2011. UMG denied that the takedown was ordered under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , and said that the takedown was "pursuant to the UMG- YouTube
agreement," which gives UMG "the right to block or remove user-posted videos through YouTube's CMS (Content Management System) based on a number of contractually specified criteria." The video was subsequently returned to YouTube, with the reasons for the UMG takedown remaining unclear. Lawyers for will.i.am initially claimed that he had never agreed to the project, and on December 12, he denied any involvement in the takedown notice.


* Companies portal * United States
United States

* List of record labels * List of RIAA member labels * List of Universal Music Group artists


* ^ "The Origin & Many Uses of Shellac by R.J. Wakeman - The Antique Phonograph Society - The Antique Phonograph Society - Welcome to the worldwide home for people who love antique phonographs, gramophones and records!". _AntiquePhono.org_. May 6, 2015. Retrieved April 16, 2016. * ^ "US Decca LP Labels". _HeroInc.0Catch.com_. Daniels, Frank. 2003. Retrieved March 20, 2008. * ^ Rackmil, Milton R. (August 28, 1954). "Pioneers\' Dream Becomes Reality With Decca". _The Billboard_. Retrieved December 16, 2011. * ^ Adegoke, Yinka (May 25, 2007). "Universal Music closes on BMG". Thomson Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved November 20, 2008. * ^ "Universal to buy BMG publishing". _News.BBC.co.uk_. BBC News. September 6, 2006. Retrieved November 25, 2007. * ^ " Vivendi Appoints Lucian Grainge Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group". Billboard.biz. March 9, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011. * ^ Smith, Ethan (March 3, 2011). " Sony Music Recruits CEO". _The Wall Street Journal_. * ^ " Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
International promotes Max Hole to Chief Operating Officer". ifpi.org. March 15, 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2011. * ^ "Pop & Hiss". _Los Angeles Times_. January 10, 2011. * ^ Halperin, Shirley (March 17, 2011). " Barry Weiss Named Chairman/CEO of Island Def Jam And Universal Motown Republic Group". Billboard.biz. Retrieved December 16, 2011. * ^ "Ethiopia Habtemariam Named Senior Vice President of Motown Records". Billboard.biz. August 10, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.

* ^ "Citigroup Sells EMI
in Parts for $4.1 Billion to Vivendi, Sony". _Businessweek_. December 8, 2009. Retrieved November 16, 2011. * ^ Warner Music Group Wants Part Of EMI
Archived July 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . – _Radio-Info.com Archived October 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine ._ (released October 31, 2011) * ^ "color". _impalamusic.org_. * ^ "EU opens investigation into Universal, EMI
deal". _Reuters_. * ^ "This page has been removed". _The Guardian_. * ^ Joshua R. Wueller, _Mergers of Majors: Applying the Failing Firm Doctrine in the Recorded Music Industry_, 7 Brook. J. Corp. Fin. & Com. L. 589, 602–04 (2013) (describing the antitrust scrutiny surrounding the sale of EMI's recorded music division to UMG). * ^ Sweney, Mark (September 21, 2012). "Universal\'s £1.2bn EMI takeover approved – with conditions". _The Guardian_. London. Retrieved September 21, 2012. * ^ Ingham, Tim. "Universal\'s Capitol takes shape: Barnett in, Beatles on roster". Music Week. Retrieved February 28, 2013. * ^ Sisario, Ben. "Universal Closes on EMI
Deal, Becoming, by Far, Biggest of Remaining Big Three". Retrieved December 30, 2016. * ^ "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Nielsen Ratings, Music News and more!". _fmqb.com_. * ^ Ingham, Tim (December 21, 2012). "BMG buys Mute catalogue from Universal". Music Week . Retrieved December 22, 2012. * ^ "Analysis: BMG Poised to Become a Top Indie Catalog Following Sanctuary Acquisition". Billboard. February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013. * ^ "HP Connected Music teams up with Universal". _Digital Spy_. * ^ Sisario, Ben (February 8, 2013). " Warner Music Group Buys EMI Assets for $765 Million". _The New York Times_. Retrieved February 8, 2013. * ^ "Warner to buy the Parlophone Label Group". gramophone.co.uk. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013. * ^ ‘s Co-op acquisition approved CMU: Complete Music Update. Thecmuwebsite.com (March 26, 2013). Retrieved on July 16, 2013. * ^ "Universal Music Sells Now! European Rights to Sony
Music". _Bloomberg_. * ^ Universal Music UK Announces Launch of Virgin EMI
Records. Billboard (March 18, 2013). Retrieved on July 16, 2013. * ^ " Edel AG – Edel kauft legendäres Jazzlabel von Universal". _edel.com_. * ^ Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
(March 20, 2013). "Universal Music Group (UMG) & Disney Music Group (DMG) Expand Agreement Globally". _prnewswire.com_. * ^ "UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP (UMG) & DISNEY MUSIC GROUP (DMG) EXPAND AGREEMENT GLOBALLY". _universalmusic.com_. * ^ Motown Records and EMI
Gospel Announce Joint Venture: Motown Gospel EURweb – Part 1. EURweb (April 2, 2013). Retrieved on July 16, 2013. * ^ " Vivendi Declined SoftBank’s Lucrative Offer for Universal". _The New York Times_. July 19, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2016. * ^ EMI
Music Arabia November 14, 2013. Retrieved on December 1, 2013 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Sisario, Ben (April 1, 2014). "Universal Music Group Breaks Up Its Island Def Jam Division". _The New York Times_. * ^ "Universal to Create Hulu-like Music Video Site". Retrieved August 10, 2016. * ^ " John Janick to Succeed Jimmy Iovine as Chairman, CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M". Billboard.biz. May 28, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2014. * ^ "It\'s Official: David Foster Named Chairman of Verve Music Group". Billboard.biz. December 15, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.

* ^ "Steve Barnett to lead Capitol Music Group". _latimes_. * ^ _A_ _B_ Stephen Labaton (May 11, 2000). "5 Music Companies Settle Federal Case On CD Price-Fixing". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2016. * ^ David Lieberman (September 30, 2002). "5 Music Companies Settle Federal Case On CD Price-Fixing". USA Today. Retrieved April 26, 2016.

* ^ "Universal settles payola probe". _USA Today_. May 11, 2006. Retrieved December 10, 2011. * ^ " Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
Backs Off Claims to Michelle Malkin Video". Electronic Frontier Foundation. May 14, 2007. Retrieved December 16, 2011. * ^ Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. * ^ "They Are The People". April 22, 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016. * ^ (Internet Archive of original link) * ^ Barnett, Megan (December 21, 2007). "Digital Music War Gets Dirtier". Portfolio.com. Retrieved December 16, 2011. * ^ RIAA Label Artists Will.i.am Says He Didn\'t Authorize A Takedown Techdirt. December 15, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2011.