Last year, Universal Music Group began investing in music focused films; and today they expanded their content interests with a big bet on NYC based graffiti/hip hop culture and lifestyle media company Mass Appeal.
Universal Music Group (UMG) led a $6 million funding round for Mass Appeal, the New York based urban media and content company. Additional investors in this Series A round include Usher, Evolution Media, Jon Jashni (Raintree Ventures), Charles King (Macro), Michael Kassan (MediaLink), Usher, Steve Stoute, Karen Lauder and existing investors White Owl Capital and Nas.
Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President of UMG, will join Mass Appeal's board of directors. The company had raised its initial seed round of $1.3 million in 2013.
Founded in 1996 as a graffiti magazine, Mass Appeal's business has grown to include a record label, TV, film and commercial content, brand creative services and owned media channels across social, web and print.
Last summer, Mass Appeal announced deals with TBS and TNT, including the digital animated series Storyville and Think B.I.G., a scripted series based loosely on the life and lyrics of the late Notorious B.I.G.
"At Universal Music Group, we are creating new opportunities for our artists and labels to forge deeper relationships with fans around the world through music, film, television, video, social media and brand sponsorships," Anthony said. "Working with Mass Appeal, we will be able to accelerate that strategy."
"Universal's reach and influence is unparalleled in music and beyond. To have a partner that owns some of the world's most compelling IP is an amazing step for our business," says Peter Bittenbender, CEO of Mass Appeal.