Universal Music Group
Overview
 
Universal Music Group is an American music group, the largest of the "big four" record companies by its commanding market share and its multitude of global operations. Universal Music Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of French media conglomerate
Media conglomerate
A media conglomerate, media group or media institution is a company that owns large numbers of companies in various mass media such as television, radio, publishing, movies, and the Internet...

 Vivendi
Vivendi
Vivendi SA is a French international media conglomerate with activities in music, television and film, publishing, telecommunications, the Internet, and video games. It is headquartered in Paris.- History :...

.

Universal Music Group owns a music publisher, Universal Music Publishing Group
Universal Music Publishing Group
Universal Music Publishing Group is a music publishing company and is part of the Universal Music Group.UMPG owns or administers more than 1 million copyrights. They are one of the largest music publishing businesses in the world with more than 47 offices in 41 countries...

, which became the world's largest following the acquisition of BMG Music Publishing in May 2007.
"Universal Music" was once the music company attached to film studio
Movie studio
A movie studio is a term used to describe a major entertainment company or production company that has its own privately owned studio facility or facilities that are used to film movies...

 Universal Pictures
Universal Studios
Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

.
Encyclopedia
Universal Music Group is an American music group, the largest of the "big four" record companies by its commanding market share and its multitude of global operations. Universal Music Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of French media conglomerate
Media conglomerate
A media conglomerate, media group or media institution is a company that owns large numbers of companies in various mass media such as television, radio, publishing, movies, and the Internet...

 Vivendi
Vivendi
Vivendi SA is a French international media conglomerate with activities in music, television and film, publishing, telecommunications, the Internet, and video games. It is headquartered in Paris.- History :...

.

Universal Music Group owns a music publisher, Universal Music Publishing Group
Universal Music Publishing Group
Universal Music Publishing Group is a music publishing company and is part of the Universal Music Group.UMPG owns or administers more than 1 million copyrights. They are one of the largest music publishing businesses in the world with more than 47 offices in 41 countries...

, which became the world's largest following the acquisition of BMG Music Publishing in May 2007.

Early History

"Universal Music" was once the music company attached to film studio
Movie studio
A movie studio is a term used to describe a major entertainment company or production company that has its own privately owned studio facility or facilities that are used to film movies...

 Universal Pictures
Universal Studios
Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

. Its origins go back to the formation of the American branch of Decca Records
Decca Records
Decca Records began as a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934; however, owing to World War II, the link with the British company was broken for several decades....

 in 1934. The Decca Corporation of England spun American Decca off in 1939. MCA Inc. bought American Decca in 1962. The present organization was formed when its parent company Seagram
Seagram
The Seagram Company Ltd. was a large corporation headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada that was the largest distiller of alcoholic beverages in the world. Toward the end of its independent existence it also controlled various entertainment and other business ventures...

 purchased PolyGram
PolyGram
PolyGram was the name of the major label recording company started by Philips from as a holding company for its music interests in 1945. In 1999 it was sold to Seagram and merged into Universal Music Group.-Hollandsche Decca Distributie , 1929-1950:...

 and merged it with Universal Music Group in 1998. However, the name first appeared in 1996 when MCA Music Entertainment Group
MCA Records
MCA Records was an American-based record company owned by MCA Inc., which later gave way to the larger MCA Music Entertainment Group , of which MCA Records was still part. MCA Records was absorbed by Geffen Records in 2003...

 was renamed Universal Music Group. The PolyGram acquisition included Deutsche Grammophon
Deutsche Grammophon
Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical record label which was the foundation of the future corporation to be known as PolyGram. It is now part of Universal Music Group since its acquisition and absorption of PolyGram in 1999, and it is also UMG's oldest active label...

 which traces its ancestry to Berliner Gramophone
Berliner Gramophone
Berliner Gramophone was an early record label, the first company to produce disc "gramophone records" .-History:...

 making Deutsche Grammophon UMG's oldest unit. UMG's Canadian unit traces its ancestry to a Berliner Gramophone breakaway firm the Compo Company
Compo Company
Compo Company Ltd. was Canada's first independent record company.The Compo Company was founded in 1918 in Lachine, Quebec by Herbert Berliner, an executive of Berliner Gramophone of Canada and the oldest son of disc record inventor Emile Berliner....

.

Acquisition by Vivendi

With the 2004 acquisition of Vivendi's Vivendi Universal Entertainment
Vivendi
Vivendi SA is a French international media conglomerate with activities in music, television and film, publishing, telecommunications, the Internet, and video games. It is headquartered in Paris.- History :...

 by General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

's NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

, Universal Music Group was entirely separated from Universal Pictures. This is the second time a music company has done so, the first being Time Warner
Time Warner
Time Warner is one of the world's largest media companies, headquartered in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Formerly two separate companies, Warner Communications, Inc...

 and Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group is the third largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry, making it one of the big four record companies...

 completely separating from each other. In February 2006, the group became 100% owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi SA
Vivendi
Vivendi SA is a French international media conglomerate with activities in music, television and film, publishing, telecommunications, the Internet, and video games. It is headquartered in Paris.- History :...

 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 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.

2010s

Doug Morris
Doug Morris
Doug Morris is an American music executive. He is the current Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. He previously served as Chairman and CEO of the Universal Music Group from 1995 to 2011.-Life and career:...

 stepped down from his position as CEO on January 1, 2011. Former Chairman/CEO of Universal Music International Lucian Grainge
Lucian Grainge
Lucian Grainge, CBE is a British music industry executive who is the current Chairman and CEO of the Universal Music Group.-Career:Lucian Grainge grew up in northern London. In 1982 he became the director of RCA Music Publishing. Two years later he became an A&R director for MCA Records...

 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
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment ' is the second-largest global recorded music company of the "big four" record companies and is controlled by Sony Corporation of America, the United States subsidiary of Japan's Sony Corporation....

 on July 1, 2011. With Grainge's appointment as CEO at UMG, Max Hole
Max Hole
Max Hole is chief operating officer of UMGI since 1 July 2010. As head of central functions at UMGI's headquarters in London, he is also responsible for operations in territories and regions worldwide...

 was promoted to COO
Chief operating officer
A Chief Operating Officer or Director of Operations can be one of the highest-ranking executives in an organization and comprises part of the "C-Suite"...

 of UMGI, effective July 1, 2010. Starting in 2011 UMG's Interscope-Geffen-A&M
Interscope-Geffen-A&M
Interscope-Geffen-A&M is an umbrella label, owned by Universal Music Group. The company was formed in 1999, when Geffen Records and A&M Records were merged into Interscope Records—the flagship imprint of the operation....

 Records will be signing contestants from American Idol
American Idol
American Idol, titled American Idol: The Search for a Superstar for the first season, is a reality television singing competition created by Simon Fuller and produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment...

. 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
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 for preservation.

In March 2011, Barry Weiss
Barry Weiss
Barry Weiss is an American music executive. He is the current Chairman & CEO of Island Def Jam Motown Music Group and Universal Republic. He served as chairman and CEO of RCA/Jive Label Group from 2008 to 2011 and was also the CEO of its constituent Jive Records from 1991 to 2011...

 became Chairman & CEO of The Island Def Jam Motown Music Group
The Island Def Jam Motown Music Group
The Island Def Jam Motown Music Group, formerly The Island Def Jam Music Group, is an umbrella label formed in 1999 when Universal Music Group merged two of its daughter companies, Island Records and Def Jam Recordings, to create a label group. In 2011, Motown Records was split from the Universal...

 & Universal Republic Records. Both companies are in the process of restructuring under Weiss.

On November 11, 2011 UMG won its bid for EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

's recorded music operations.

Multimedia content delivery

Universal Music Group co-developed Vevo
Vevo
Vevo is a music video website. It is a joint venture among Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media with EMI licensing its content to the group without taking an ownership stake. The service was launched officially on December 8, 2009...

, a site designed for music videos inspired by Hulu.com, which similarly, will allow for free, ad-supported streaming of music videos and other music content. The music videos are shown in better quality than the original ones on YouTube.

Santa Monica

The UMG main global headquarters are located at 2220 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. The Santa Monica headquarters oversees all of its legal obligations in the US and Canada such as Human Resources
Human resources
Human resources is a term used to describe the individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, although it is also applied in labor economics to, for example, business sectors or even whole nations...

, and any legal issues surrounding the company. Interscope-Geffen-A&M
Interscope-Geffen-A&M
Interscope-Geffen-A&M is an umbrella label, owned by Universal Music Group. The company was formed in 1999, when Geffen Records and A&M Records were merged into Interscope Records—the flagship imprint of the operation....

 is headquartered in Santa Monica in the building's west end. The Island Def Jam Motown Music Group
The Island Def Jam Motown Music Group
The Island Def Jam Motown Music Group, formerly The Island Def Jam Music Group, is an umbrella label formed in 1999 when Universal Music Group merged two of its daughter companies, Island Records and Def Jam Recordings, to create a label group. In 2011, Motown Records was split from the Universal...

 has some offices at the Santa Monica headquarters in the building's east end. The building is also home to Universal Music Enterprises
Universal Music Enterprises
Universal Music Enterprises, a.k.a. UMe is the catalogue division of Universal Music Group. It includes Hip-O Records, Universal Chronicles and UM3 ....

 (UME). UMG Chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge
Lucian Grainge
Lucian Grainge, CBE is a British music industry executive who is the current Chairman and CEO of the Universal Music Group.-Career:Lucian Grainge grew up in northern London. In 1982 he became the director of RCA Music Publishing. Two years later he became an A&R director for MCA Records...

 works out of the company's Santa Monica headquarters. Universal Music Publishing is headquartered at 2100 Colorado Avenue, which is down the block from UMG's offices. Universal Music Group Distribution is headquartered in nearby Universal City, CA.

New York City

Even though California is where a lot of UMG's corporate decisions are made, UMG has a major workforce in New York which considers it as a secondary headquarter. UMG's New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 headquarters deals mainly with Universal's marketing, Information Systems, and finance. It is also where several of UMG's labels are headquartered. The Island Def Jam Motown Music Group
The Island Def Jam Motown Music Group
The Island Def Jam Motown Music Group, formerly The Island Def Jam Music Group, is an umbrella label formed in 1999 when Universal Music Group merged two of its daughter companies, Island Records and Def Jam Recordings, to create a label group. In 2011, Motown Records was split from the Universal...

, Universal Republic Records, Verve Music Group
Verve Records
Verve Records is an American jazz record label now owned by Universal Music Group. It was founded by Norman Granz in 1956, absorbing the catalogues of his earlier labels, Clef Records and Norgran Records , and material which had been licensed to Mercury previously.-Jazz and folk origins:The Verve...

, Decca Label Group & A&M/Octone are all based in New York.
The New York Corporate Head Quarters were closed with all Corporate Functions transferred to London.

London

Universal Music Group International (UMGI) is headquartered in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. UMGI manages UMG's offices in most countries outside of North America. UMG also has offices in Romford
Romford
Romford is a large suburban town in north east London, England and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Havering. It is located northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan...

.
Romford is now closed.

Other Locations

Universal Music Latino in headquartered in Miami. Universal Music Group Nashville
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...

 is headquartered in Nashville. UMG's parent company, Vivendi
Vivendi
Vivendi SA is a French international media conglomerate with activities in music, television and film, publishing, telecommunications, the Internet, and video games. It is headquartered in Paris.- History :...

, is headquarters in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Payola
Payola
Payola, in the American music industry, is the illegal practice of payment or other inducement by record companies for the broadcast of recordings on music radio, in which the song is presented as being part of the normal day's broadcast. Under U.S...

In May 2006, an investigation led by then New York attorney general
Attorney General
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...

, Eliot Spitzer
Eliot Spitzer
Eliot Laurence Spitzer is an American lawyer, former Democratic Party politician, and political commentator. He was the co-host of In the Arena, a talk-show and punditry forum broadcast on CNN until CNN cancelled his show in July of 2011...

, concluded with a determination that Universal Music Group bribed
Bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...

 radio stations to play songs from Ashlee Simpson
Ashlee Simpson
Ashlee Nicole Simpson is an American singer and actress. In 2004, she rose to prominence with the success of her number-one debut album Autobiography and the reality series, The Ashlee Simpson Show. In October 2005, following a North American concert tour and a film appearance, Simpson released...

, Brian McKnight
Brian McKnight
Brian McKnight is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, producer, and R&B/Pop musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays nine instruments: piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussions, trombone, tuba, flugelhorn and trumpet....

, Big Tymers
Big Tymers
The Big Tymers were an American rap duo active from 1997 to 2005 from New Orleans, Louisiana. The Big Tymers consisted of Cash Money Records co-founder, Baby and former Cash Money in-house producer, Mannie Fresh. Baby later changed his stage name to Birdman after the group was dissolved...

, Nick Lachey
Nick Lachey
Nicholas Scott "Nick" Lachey is an American singer, songwriter, actor, producer and television personality. Lachey rose to fame as a member of the boy band 98 Degrees. He later starred in the reality television series Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica with his then-wife, Jessica Simpson. He has released...

, Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan is an American actress, pop singer and model. She began her career as a child fashion model before making her motion picture debut in Disney's 1998 remake of The Parent Trap at the age of 11...

 and other performers under Universal labels. The company paid $12 million to the state in settlement.

YouTube

In May 2007, UMG was accused of abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization . It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to...

 in order to squelch criticism, by forcing YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 to remove several videos that contain UMG's music in it. This has caused much anger and frustration to many youtubers. One of the videos they took off is a Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin is an American conservative blogger, political commentator, and author. Her weekly syndicated column appears in a number of newspapers and websites. She is a Fox News Channel contributor and has been a guest on MSNBC, C-SPAN, and national radio programs...

 video critical of singer Akon
Akon
Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam, better known as simply Akon , is a Senegalese American R&B recording artist and songwriter.According to Forbes, Akon grossed $21 million in 2010, $20 million in 2009 and $12 million in 2008. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up", the first...

. Eventually, UMG backed off its claims after being challenged by the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is an international non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organization based in the United States...

. In the same year, UMG was accused of using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to indiscriminately remove content related to the artist Prince
Prince (musician)
Prince Rogers Nelson , often known simply as Prince, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label; writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of...

, most notably a twenty-nine second home video in which children danced to one of Prince's songs.

Imeem.com

In December 2007 UMG announced a deal with Imeem
Imeem
The online service imeem was a social media web site where users interacted with each other by streaming, uploading and sharing music and music videos...

 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.
Imeem
Imeem
The online service imeem was a social media web site where users interacted with each other by streaming, uploading and sharing music and music videos...

 is a defunct website and all traffic was deferred to MySpace.

See also



External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK