Kenny Chesney Signs With Warner Nashville

In one of the most surprising defections in modern country music history, Kenny Chesney is leaving Sony Music, his label home for nearly the entirety of his career, to sign with Warner Nashville, sources confirm to Variety. No announcement has been made yet, and a rep for Warner Bros. declined to

Ford Unveils Hi-Res Audio for Cars at CES 2018

At CES on Tuesday, the Ford Motor Company unveiled a hi-res audio system that will be available in future models of their cars. The presentation took place at the Hi-Res Audio Pavilion sponsored by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group in cooperation with A2IM, the RIAA,

Facebook inks music video deal with Sony Music/ATV

Facebook has signed a deal with Sony Music/ATV Publishing that will enable the social network’s users to upload and post videos of songs from artists such as Taylor Swift, Drake and Kanye West. The multiyear agreement, which kicks in immediately, is the second major partnership between Facebook and a

Jim Roppo Named Executive VP and General Manager of Republic Records

Republic Records has promoted Jim Roppo to Executive Vice President and General Manager, the label’s founder and chairman Monte Lipman announced today. In this new post, Mr. Roppo will oversee label operations for Republic and its partners. Republic was named Variety’s Hitmaker Label of the Year for 2017 in our recent Hitmakers issue. “Jim has served as key architect for many campaigns

Universal Pictures Music Chief Mike Knobloch Talks ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ and How the Taylor Swift-Zayn Duet Happened

No pressure, but “Pitch Perfect 3,” which opens in 3,400 North American theaters and 15 international territories this weekend, only has to follow the world’s top-earning musical comedy, a status the franchise’s 2015 second installment reached when its $288 million gross crushed the $131.3 million earning by previous record-holder “School of Rock.” Coming

Facebook and Universal Music Group Strike Global Licensing Agreement

Facebook and Universal Music Group today announced a global, multi-year agreement under which UMG becomes the first major music company to license its recorded music and publishing catalogs for video and other social experiences across Facebook, Instagram and Oculus. According to a press release, the partnership will allow users to upload

Universal Music signs multiyear licensing deal with Facebook

Universal Music Group just became the first major music label to license its recorded music and videos on Facebook. The global, multiyear deal will enable users of Facebook, as well as its Instagram app and Oculus virtual reality platform, to upload videos that contain licensed music. They’ll also be

YouTube signs deal with UMG, Sony over streaming policies

It’s seems like its all systems go for YouTube’s expected subscription music service. The Google-owned streamer on Tuesday reached a multiyear licensing deal with Universal Music Group , the world’s largest music label, that will provide increased compensation and require YouTube to better police its site, the companies said

YouTube signs deal with UMG, Sony over streaming policies

It’s seems like its all systems go for YouTube’s expected subscription music service. The Google-owned streamer on Tuesday reached a multiyear licensing deal with Universal Music Group , the world’s largest music label, that will provide increased compensation and require YouTube to better police its site, the companies said

YouTube Strikes New Deals With Universal and Sony Music

YouTube and the world’s largest music company, Universal Music Group, announced a new “global, multi-year agreement” on Tuesday morning. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube said in a statement: “We’re thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Universal Music Group. This agreement means we can drive more value to the industry, break and

Pras to Helm TV Series Inspired by Real-Life Stories of Hip-Hop Cops

Musician, producer and actor Pras Michel (pictured above, at right) is teaming with Polygram Entertainment, Universal Music Group’s film and television production company, for a TV series inspired by the real-life story of the Rap Intelligence Unit, the controversial NYPD division formed in 1999 — following the murders of Notorious B.I.G. and

Bill Hearn, Chairman of Capitol Christian Music Group, Dies at 58

William Ray “Bill” Hearn, chairman and CEO of the Capitol Christian Music Group, passed away Sunday in Nashville after a battle with cancer. He was 58. Hearn played a huge role in CCMG’s formation following the sale of his family’s Sparrow Records — which was founded by his father, Billy Ray

YouTube plans to launch a paid music-streaming service

Alphabet Inc’s YouTube plans to introduce a paid music streaming service in March, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. Record label Warner Music Group has already signed on while Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Merlin, a consortium of independent labels, are in talks

YouTube plans to launch a paid music-streaming service

Alphabet Inc’s YouTube plans to introduce a paid music streaming service in March, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. Record label Warner Music Group has already signed on while Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Merlin, a consortium of independent labels, are in talks

World’s Largest YouTube Ripping Site Ordered to Shut Down

The music industry has scored a major legal victory, sinking the pirate outfit YouTube-mp3.org, a global “stream ripping” site operating out of Germany that was facilitating the theft of millions of dollars worth of music intellectual property per year. The ruling signed today (Sept. 7) concluded the action brought last

Universal Music Group Streaming Revenues Climb 45%

Fueled by the rapid adoption of streaming, Universal Music Group’s revenue grew by 15.6% over the same period in 2016, rising to $1.5 billion for the quarter ending June 30, its parent company Vivendi said in its second-quarter earnings report Thursday. Operating income was up 48% to $183

Universal Music Valued at $23.5B, Huge Industry Growth Predicted

Streaming has turned the music business into a booming industry that will lift many boats, according to a wildly optimistic new report from Goldman Sachs. The company predicts that worldwide revenues from streaming will reach a whopping $28 billion by 2030, a 16% jump from its previous estimates, in

Rod Stewart, DNCE Team for Re-Imagined ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’

Rod Stewart has new music on the way — a re-imagining of his 1979 hit “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” that’s a collaboration with dance-pop band DNCE. The teaming marks a new partnership with Republic Records, the Universal Music Group label that’s home to The Weeknd, Ariana Grande,

Universal Music Partners with ‘Beat Bugs’ Producers for 3 New Series

Universal Music Group (UMG) has partnered with production company Grace/Beyond (GB) to develop three new music-based television series, Variety has learned exclusively. Grace/Beyond’s principal partners — Josh Wakely (pictured above), Mikael Borglund and Trevor Roy — all serve as executive producers on the Netflix animated series “Beat Bugs,” which features

Scott Greer Moves to Def Jam as EVP of Marketing and Commerce

Just days after Paul Rosenberg was announced as Def Jam’s next CEO, Scott Greer has been named the label’s EVP of marketing & commerce, effective next week. He was most recently EVP at Capitol Music Group, a post he took in 2014 after some 18 years at Columbia. At

Republic Records Names Dana Sano Head of Film and Television

Republic Records has named Dana Sano Executive Vice President of Film & Television. A Grammy-nominated music supervisor, she had previously served as Senior Music Executive at New Line Cinema and has worked with such film luminaries as Paul Thomas Anderson, Sir Richard Attenborough, and David Fincher, among others. For

Universal’s Move to Nullify $31 Million Prince Deal Approved by Judge

In court papers made public Thursday afternoon (July 13), Judge Kevin Eide has approved Universal Music Group and Comerica Bank’s motion to nullify the $31 million recorded-music deal the label struck with the Prince estate, which was announced in February. In the motion, Universal argued that special advisors

Jamie Diamond Joins Universal Music Publishing

Universal Music Group today announced that, effective immediately, Jamie Diamond has been appointed Director of Communications for Universal Music Publishing Group. Diamond will oversee internal and external communications, public relations strategy and digital properties for UMPG.  She will be based at UMG’s global headquarters in Santa Monica and report

Spotify signs licensing deal with Sony Music

Spotify has reached a licensing deal with a second major label, Sony Music Entertainment, according to media reports, setting the stage for a US stock market listing by the music streaming leader. Recently valued at $13 billion, Sweden’s Spotify is planning a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange later

Spotify signs licensing deal with Sony Music

Spotify has reached a licensing deal with a second major label, Sony Music Entertainment, according to media reports, setting the stage for a US stock market listing by the music streaming leader. Recently valued at $13 billion, Sweden’s Spotify is planning a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange later

Courtni Asbury Promoted to VP, Media and Artist Relations at Def Jam

Courtni Asbury has been promoted to Vice President, Media and Artist Relations. She was previously Director, Media and Artist Relations, and was bumped to Senior Director in 2015, reporting to Def Jam EVP of Media and Artist Relations, Gabe Tesoriero. The Santa Monica-based Asbury has spent over a decade, collectively,