Universal Music Group for Brands, the global partnership division of Universal Music Group (UMG), has announced a new global venture—UMusic Media Network.
In an exclusive announcement on Ad Age Studio 30, UMGB has launched the UMusic Media Network as a comprehensive media and data offering to connect brands and partners with media from the world’s largest music company and its artists.
“The UMusic Media Network brings together UMG’s unmatched artist roster, marketing capabilities and resources to empower brands and partners directly,” said Richard Yaffa, executive VP and global head of UMGB. “Through this cutting-edge new platform, UMG artists can create destination programming exclusively for brands, giving our partners the ability to hyper-target culturally relevant content where they have not been able to do before.”
Over the past several years, the advertising market has placed a premium on reaching audiences with authentic and culturally relevant content. This was especially important with the COVID-19 impact on all formats of advertising.
The UMusic Media Network offers to brands access to the world’s largest inventory of music video content spanning across the ecosystem’s social media platforms. Within one program, brand partners can access premium, culturally relevant content from some of the world’s most viewed artists, alongside UMG’s data and insights. UMG offers more than 4 trillion minutes of cumulative watch time of UMG content on YouTube.
UMG is the home of many of the world’s top-selling artists, such as K-pop megastar boy bands BTS and Seventeen; Top 40 stalwarts like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and The Weeknd; legendary performers like the Rolling Stones, U2, and Stevie Wonder; and industry-altering relative-newcomers like Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish.
The new offering allows for audience hyper-targeting at a scale through music videos and artist-driven content. Partners will be able to tap into UMG official music videos, songs and lyrics videos, original content, behind-the-scenes and artist vlogs, and lifestyle content from UMG-owned platforms such as Rebel Labs, Mercury Studios and Polygram Entertainment. The network will also offer branded content and partnership opportunities across the company’s labels and artists, providing a holistic and creative solution for each advertisers’ objectives and needs.
With massive growth in demand for premium video advertising to run alongside popular music content, UMGB’s UMusic Media Network will help unlock value for UMG labels and artists worldwide, while also maximizing opportunities for UMGB advertising partners, the company said.
“When advertisers connect with culturally relevant content and associate their brand with our artists, consumers feel greater brand affinity and engage with those ads more actively,” Yaffa said.
Amplification and scale
One of UMusic Media Network’s major assets is the reach and scale of their offerings. Comscore ranks UMG first in music and second in entertainment for U.S. digital reach. With growth in demand for premium video advertising to run alongside popular music content, UMG’s UMusic Media Network will help unlock value for UMG labels and artists, while also maximizing opportunities for UMGB advertising partners.
UMG’s consolidated digital properties draw more than 150 million unique visitors monthly across desktops, smartphones and tablets in the U.S. This content, coupled with data and insights, will help brands identify where they can be most effective in reaching both primary and new audiences, and further establish their authenticity while creating amplification around programming.
“What we've been able to do as a critical part of the UMusic Network, and being part of the UMG for Brands, is to add capabilities, data and insights to a create a full-service, strategic resource for amplification, activation and custom media,” Yaffa said. “We pride ourselves on being able to translate between industries, and we work hand-in-hand with agencies and all of our brand partners to create the best possible solution.”
The UMusic Media Network will be led by Yaffa and Morgan Buksbaum, senior VP of media and properties at UMGB, and is integrated into UMG’s global operations, utilizing the capabilities and resources of key divisions including commercial services & UMGB, led by Michele Anthony, executive VP of UMG.
After beta testing for over a year, the launch comes at a time when having culturally relevant and authentic content can introduce brands to wider and more engaged, receptive audiences. Considering UMG’s reach, the ability to hyper-target on a global scale is a radical extension of its customary partnering abilities.