Universal Music Group (UMG) has launched Mercury Studios, described as a “new multi-faceted content studio to develop, produce, and invest in innovative, music-based storytelling”.
With offices in London and Los Angeles, Mercury Studios subsumes global film and TV producer Eagle Rock Entertainment (ERE), which MBW has confirmed is being retired as an active UMG brand.
Mercury Studios will house and build upon ERE’s award-winning library that includes nearly 2,000 hours of programming and more than 800 titles of original documentaries.
Mercury Studios will be led by highly respected media executive, Alice Webb, who was appointed CEO of Eagle Rock by Universal Music UK, Chairman and CEO, David Joseph in 2019, following a successful 15-year career at the BBC.
Joseph will position Mercury as a key contributor to UMG’s global audio-visual strategy, reporting to UMG’s Chairman and CEO, Sir Lucian Grainge.
Today’s news follows Universal Music Group’s re-launch of the Polygram Entertainment brand in 2017 to work on its film and television projects.
New content created by Mercury Studios will include music-orientated film and television projects, plus podcasts and short-form audio and video.
UMG says it will launch projects in realms such as performance/live, factual/reality, scripted, artist and filmmaker partnerships, plus remastering and audio originals
Mercury Studios will carry on ERE’s history of filming live performances, which has most recently taken the form of live-streamed concerts for artists including Sam Smith, Glass Animals and The Streets, the last of which won the UKMVA’s Best Music Film Award for 2020.
In addition, Mercury will leverage ERE’s existing global sales division alongside home video and digital media distribution.
ERE’s library of nearly 2,000 hours of programming and more than 800 titles of original documentaries, television and film content including the Grammy Award-nominated documentary Miles Davis: The Birth of Cool and current Grammy Award nominee, That Little Ol’ Band from Texas, the story of ZZ Top, will be housed in Mercury Studios.
ERE’s catalog also includes what is described as “some of the most iconic performances and concert footage in history” from artists such as The Rolling Stones, Ella Fitzgerald, Queen and Dr Dre.
“Mercury Studios will bring together the very best in the business under the exceptional leadership of Alice.”
David Joseph, Universal Music UK
David Joseph, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK, said: “Mercury Studios will bring together the very best in the business under the exceptional leadership of Alice, who has already proved herself as a dynamic creative innovator, not least during her time at the BBC.
“Mercury will be about bold ideas, exciting new talent but above all compelling visual storytelling, all of which will be demonstrated with the exciting projects we will be announcing over the coming weeks.
“Music is a world full of the most extraordinary stories, with so many yet to be told.”
“Music is a passion – it touches every part of our lives, which is why Mercury Studios is such an exciting proposition.”
Alice Webb, Mercury Studios
Alice Webb, CEO of Mercury Studios, added: “Music is a passion – it touches every part of our lives, which is why Mercury Studios is such an exciting proposition.
“We are unique – bringing together expertise from across music, film and television in factual, scripted, premium audio, performance and so much more.
“We can offer creators a vibrant space to realise the projects they are truly passionate about, tapping into the wealth of expertise we have access to.
“We are also keen to welcome new blood: talented, ambitious people who want to make distinctive, relevant content with music at its heart.”
With an audio logo created by award-winning artist and composer Isobel Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Emma, Black Mirror), Mercury Studios has used the iconic ‘Mercury Man’ graphic logo (pictured inset) from the original Mercury Records label, which the company states has been “updated to reflect its next-generation approach to content and future vision, while honouring the legacy of the brand”.Music Business Worldwide