Mike Caren’s APG goes fully independent, as label’s artist roster moves inside Atlantic Records

Mike Caren, CEO, APG

Mike Caren’s Artist Partner Group (APG) is now a fully independent enterprise.

The Los Angeles-based company was previously in a joint-venture partnership with Warner Music Group and Atlantic Records. This JV saw the emergence of APG-signed artists such as Alec Benjamin, Ava Max, Bazzi, Charlie Puth, Don Toliver, Kehlani, Kevin Gates, Lil Skies, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, and others.

APG’s newly independent status has been brokered via a new deal between Caren and WMG which sees APG’s existing recordings catalog and artist roster move inside Atlantic Records (and away from APG) going forward.

This is in itself a significant acquisition for Atlantic, promising to boost the Warner label’s market share not only via APG’s catalog but also through new recordings from the label’s established stars.

As an example, YoungBoy Never Broke Again has racked up three No.1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart in the US in the past 13 months: studio album Top, plus two mixtapes in AI YoungBoy 2 and 38 Baby 2. In addition, his Still Flexin, Still Steppin mixtape hit No.2 on the Billboard 200 in February this year.

It’s also significant news for Warner’s global recorded music division, led by Max Lousada. As another example, APG (now Atlantic) signing Ava Max’s Heaven & Hell album recently went Top 5 in the UK, Switzerland and Norway, following her international breakthrough with single Sweet But Psycho in 2018, which hit No.1 in territories including the UK, Sweden and Germany.

As an indie, APG has added Warner’s independent distribution and services arm, ADA, as an additional channel partner for its new artists going forward.

Artist Partner Group was founded as a sister music company to Caren’s Artist Publishing Group, which will continue to publish artists signed to Atlantic Records such as Pink Sweat$ and Charlie Puth, as well as songwriters and producers not affiliated with Atlantic such as Madison Love, Taz Taylor, Hitmaka, 24k Goldn, Amy Allen and Derrick Millano.

APG CEO Mike Caren said: “This is an exciting new chapter for Artist Partner Group and the amazing roster of artists we have worked with over the last eight years.

“I am thankful to the entire APG and Atlantic teams and all of the incredible talent that continually inspire us. I look forward to the ongoing growth and success of all of our partners and to continuing to build Artist Partner as a home to artists in the evolving market landscape.”

“This is an exciting new chapter for Artist Partner Group and the amazing roster of artists we have worked with over the last eight years.”

Mike Caren, APG

Atlantic Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman and Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald said: “We’re super proud of what we’ve achieved together with Mike and the APG team, and we couldn’t be happier to support and nurture the careers of these extraordinary, visionary artists.”

Max Lousada, CEO of Global Recorded Music, Warner Music Group said: “This move evolves and updates a hugely successful partnership.

“Artist Partner’s existing roster of diverse, original voices will now be backed by the full power of Atlantic Records’ creative expertise and worldwide reach, while Artist Partner and its new signings will have access to our global network and comprehensive menu of artist services.”Music Business Worldwide

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