New York-based media and content company Mass Appeal has signed a multi-year distribution deal with Universal Music Group ahead of the release of a new solo album from Nas on Friday.
The agreement encompasses the exclusive distribution of physical and digital formats for recorded music and short-form video content.
It provides Mass Appeal with the ability to strategically leverage UMG’s marketing and promotion teams across more than 60 territories for select artists and projects.
UMG will also distribute Mass Appeal’s catalog of releases from artists, which include the self-released 11th solo album from Nas that’s been produced by Kanye West in collaboration with Def Jam Recordings.
It will be the rapper’s first new music since 2012’s Billboard No.1 album, Life is Good.
Mass Appeal’s roster includes DJ Shadow, J Dilla and Run the Jewels, and the UMG deal will cover all forward-looking projects.
The announcement arrives just over a year since Universal Music Group led a $6m funding round in Mass Appeal.
“In the 15 months since joining forces with UMG, we have seen the Mass Appeal brand expand rapidly, experiencing our most successful year to date.”
Peter Bittenbender, Mass Appeal
Peter Bittenbender, CEO of Mass Appeal, said: “In the 15 months since joining forces with UMG, we have seen the Mass Appeal brand expand rapidly, experiencing our most successful year to date.
“Much like fans across the world we are hyped that Nas is finally dropping his new album and couldn’t be more proud that it’s our first release through this new partnership.”
“Mass Appeal is a thriving multimedia platform that speaks to an audience that is increasingly influencing culture. I couldn’t be more thrilled to expand our relationship.”
Michele anthony, umg
Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President at UMG who sits on Mass Appeal’s board of directors, said: “Mass Appeal is a thriving multimedia platform that speaks to an audience that is increasingly influencing culture.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to expand our relationship. UMG will now provide Mass Appeal’s label with our expertise and resources to maximize the global opportunities for their exceptional roster of artists.”
Nas added: “I’ve been blessed to work with two of the best brands in music. Columbia Records was how I got my start and Def Jam was where I continued that journey.
“In my next chapter, I am proud to say that I am signing myself to myself. I look forward to releasing many projects in the very near future with Mass Appeal’s new global partnership with UMG.”
“In my next chapter, I am proud to say that I am signing myself to myself.
“I look forward to releasing many projects in the very near future with Mass Appeal’s new global partnership with UMG.”
Founded in 1996 as a graffiti magazine, Mass Appeal’s business has grown to include production and development of TV, film and commercial content, creative services for blue chip brands and owned media channels across social, web and print.
The company launched its record label in 2014, Mass Appeal Records, which has issued albums by Run The Jewels, as well as Fashawn, J Dilla and Dave East.
In July 2016, Mass Appeal announced a content partnership 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.
Shortly after last year’s funding round, Mass Appeal launched a joint venture publishing company with Pulse Music Group.Music Business Worldwide