UMG’s $1m Fame House acquisition shows ‘evolution beyond music rights’

Universal Music Group (UMG) has confirmed its $1m acquisition of digital marketing agency Fame House – claiming that the buyout will help push its artists’ careers beyond traditional music biz concerns.

As reported by MBW last week, recent court papers in the US showed Universal was acquiring the Philadelphia-based business from its bankrupt former parent, SFX entertainment.

In addition to the cash purchase price, UMG agreed to take on $400,000 in liabilities to bring the company under its roof.

Fame House’s clients include artists, brands and festivals including Eminem, Ice Cube, Pearl Jam, Mitchell & Ness and Electric Zoo.

UMG says the agency’s Mike Fiebach, CEO and founder, and Eric Hahn, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, will continue to lead the business.

Fiebach and Hahn will report to Boyd Muir, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President of UMG.

UMG says the buyout will help “create unique commercial opportunities for its artists and labels through social media, consumer engagement, direct-to-consumer and direct-to-fan initiatives, as well as activations for brands, sponsors and live events”.

“At Universal Music, we have created artist and label services that are unrivaled in our industry, ” said Anthony.

“UMG’s acquisition of fame house is further evidence of our evolution into a multi-faceted entertainment company.”

Boyd Muir, UMG

“Fame House will provide digital marketing services and social media expertise for our artists and labels to build fan engagement and reach new audiences through compelling direct-to-consumer and merchandising experiences, as well as create activation opportunities for brands and sponsors and for our live events.”

Muir added, “UMG’s acquisition of Fame House is further evidence of our evolution into a multi-faceted entertainment company that can provide a broad range of services for artists beyond recorded music, publishing and merchandising.

“I’m looking forward to working with Mike, Eric and the entire Fame House team on unlocking new creative and commercial opportunities for our artists and labels.”

“We are eager and excited to continue to build Fame House as a part of Universal Music Group,” said Fiebach.

“We believe that we can build a game-changing business with UMG.  I am thankful to Boyd, Michele, Mike Tunnicliffe, Peter Sinclair and the rest of the UMG management team for recognizing the potential of Fame House and for giving us this incredible opportunity.

“With the resources and support of the world’s leading music company, the sky is now the limit.”

Added Hahn, “As someone who has only wanted to build a career in the music industry, the opportunity to work in the UMG family is an absolute dream come true.

“We believe that the UMG leadership is at the forefront of innovating positive evolution in the industry and for them to recognize a company that we built as a key ingredient in their strategy is something we are very proud and appreciative to be a part of.”

Founded in January 2011 by Fiebach, Fame House is a digital strategy agency with offices in Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles.Music Business Worldwide

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