Indie Labels

Branson is back with Virgin Music relaunch, UMG Caroline Rebrand

Universal Music Group has announced plans to breathe new life into the Virgin Music brand with the launch of a new record label and artist services division and the rebranding of UMG’s independent arm Caroline.

Virgin Music Label & Artist Services will offer global network of flexible artist and indie label services inspired by the spirit and ethos of the iconic Virgin Records label.

Much of the new division is built based on a rebranding and expansion of UMG’s existing indie division Caroline and will offer fully staffed operations in the world’s top five music markets – U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, France – as well as across Latin America, the world’s fastest-growing region for the past five years. Additional operations will launch in the coming months. [Read more regional details here.]

The Virgin Legacy

“I’m proud that half a century after we opened our first independent record shop in London, the Virgin Music name continues to represent the very best entrepreneurs, innovators, and artists from the world of music today,” said Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Founder.

Founded in 1972 in the U.K. by Branson, Virgin Records helped redefine music culture. Independent music distribution and disruption were key catalysts in Virgin’s global success with distributed labels, including Frontline, Stiff, Charisma and Circa; to the creation of Caroline and Astralwerks, both now successful divisions within the UMG label family.

Virgin Records also served as home to some of the most influential and reverential artists of the past century, including: David Bowie; The Sex Pistols; Aaliyah; The Rolling Stones; George Michael; Janet Jackson; Lenny Kravitz; Culture Club; Massive Attack; and the Spice Girls.

“Virgin has long been a name synonymous with disruptive innovation, musical creativity and entrepreneurialism. We are thrilled to announce the reinvigoration of this iconic music brand as a new model for global distribution and label services – combining UMG’s unrivalled regional executive teams with dedicated resources and best-in-class services and technology, to help foster long-term partnerships and deliver global success for the next generation of independent labels and artist talent. In total, this global launch represents an important evolution of our industry-leading strategy to be an accelerator and vital partner for the music’s best independent artists and entrepreneurs,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG.

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