Universal Music Group Announces Strategic Expansion and Key Label Launches Within Southeast Asia to Boost Focus on Domestic and Local Language Artists
Universal Music Group (UMG) announced a significant expansion of its recorded music operations across Southeast Asia (UMG SEA) with the launch of two new flagship label divisions – Def Jam South East Asia, to focus on the vibrant hip-hop scene within the region, and Astralwerks Asia, a modern, artist-first label with a true focus on nurturing talent within Asia across the electronic genre and beyond.
In addition, UMG SEA has announced plans to extend its focus and commitment to local language and domestic repertoire in order to provide music fans with the best music experience throughout the region. UMG SEA announced the launch of Ingrooves and Spinnup in the region to extend the range of marketing and distribution services that UMG offers to support independent artists, labels and talent throughout the region.
These announcements coincided with the official opening of UMG’s new regional headquarters for South East Asia, in the heart of Singapore’s vibrant arts and heritage district, and were revealed during a keynote speech today by Adam Granite, Universal Music Group’s Executive Vice-President of Market Development, at the All That Matters ’19 conference in Singapore.
Granite’s speech focused on the commitment and investment by UMG into the long-term development and transformation of the region – one that reaches almost 700 million people and where music is increasingly driven by a young, social and mobile-driven audience. An audience that will only continue to grow as better data affordability, connectivity and smartphone access continues to improve.
Granite’s keynote also featured an appearance by Calvin Wong, CEO, Universal Music South East Asia & SVP, Asia, who announced the opening of a new dedicated Universal Music office in Vietnam later this year, before introducing Toby Andrews, GM at Astralwerks, who spoke about the opportunities that artists from within the region now have to reach new audiences around the globe, and his ambitions for building the Astralwerks roster and brand within Asia.
Granite was additionally joined on stage by Ingrooves CEO, Bob Roback and Nina Usher, GM, Spinnup, to launch both services in the region and to discuss the impact and opportunities that their data-driven distribution and marketing platforms can create to help independent artists and labels from the region achieve further success within the wider Universal Music Group family. Speaking at the event Roback announced that Ingrooves would be expanding its operations within the region and launching in several new markets in the coming months.
To celebrate the launch of Def Jam South East Asia, Granite was lastly joined on stage by Joe Flizzow (Malaysia), Daboyway (Thailand), Yung Raja (Singapore), Fariz Jabba (Singapore), ALIF (Singapore) & A.Nayaka (Indonesia), six of the biggest rappers from the region, who were announced as the inaugural signings to Def Jam South East Asia. They performed an unannounced freestyle cypher together to close the event.
In making the announcement, Granite said: “It is an honour to be here in Singapore, alongside Calvin Wong, our CEO for South East Asia and with many of our senior-executives from around the world, to celebrate this strategic expansion of UMG’s operations across the region, which serves as a mark of commitment and respect for both the music culture in the region, and our belief in its future.”
Calvin Wong, CEO, Universal Music South East Asia & SVP, Asia said: “This expansion showcases the importance of South East Asia in terms of musical talent and future business opportunities. Music is more accessible than ever before, and we firmly believe there is the potential for regional and global breakthrough for our artists in the future.”
UMG is accelerating its focus on growing the entire music ecosystem throughout South East Asia including recorded music, music publishing, production, live events, brand partnerships and merchandising efforts. This significant expansion of UMG’s A&R, commercial and marketing capabilities will provide domestic artists unique access to UMG’s global infrastructure and network around the world, as well as ensure UMG’s international repertoire reaches audiences throughout the region.