New alliance between Universal Music Group and [PIAS] music company

Posted on: June 14, 2021

“Independent music company [PIAS] and Universal Music Group (UMG) have struck a strategic global alliance,” writes Murray Stassen in Wednesday’s (6/9) Music Business Worldwide (U.K.). “As part of the deal, Universal has committed to providing [PIAS] with an undisclosed package of funding. In return, UMG will be able to access [PIAS]’s international distribution network through its recently rebranded distribution and services division, [Integral].” In addition to owning the classical Harmonia Mundi label, [PIAS] offers distribution services to orchestras that have their own record labels. “The indie company remains fully controlled by [PIAS] co-founders Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot.…[PIAS] currently has offices in all major territories around the world and over 300 employees. News of the [PIAS]/Universal partnership comes three months after Universal Music Group’s launch of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services—its own global distribution and services division serving independent artists and labels. Kenny Gates, co-founder and CEO of [PIAS], said: ‘… This new, somewhat unconventional, strategic agreement with UMG will help both companies maximize the many opportunities we know are available, while not compromising our independence whatsoever.’ ”