Universal launches global label services company, Caroline International

Universal Music Group had launched a global services company for independent labels and artists – doing battle in one of the most competitive areas of the modern music market.

Based in London and led by Managing Director Michael Roe and Joint Managing Director and Head of Music Jim Chancellor, Caroline International offers rightsholders services including marketing, promotion, A&R, commercial, sync and administration – whilst tapping into Universal’s own sales and distribution forces around the world.

It has dedicated teams on the ground in the UK, Continental Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Latin America and Asia.

Caroline International is a division of Universal Music but the major promises that the ‘two companies operate on an arms-length basis’. This, it says, will ‘allow Caroline to deliver a bespoke service to independent labels and artists in every market and region of the world’.

Michael Roe founded the international arm of EMI Label Services in 2008 and built the unit into one of the most successful independent service companies in the market, working on UK and international hit releases from artists including Noel Gallagher, Beady Eye, Stereophonics, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Little Dragon and We Are Augustines as well as labels including Peacefrog, Century Media, Earache, New State, Elevenseven and Red Bull.

Jim Chancellor is the Managing Director of Fiction Records, the label which he successfully revived in 2004. Fiction is home to artists including Elbow, Maccabees, Snow Patrol and White Lies. Chancellor will continue to run Fiction alongside his new role at Caroline International and new artists signed to Fiction will now have the option to be released through Caroline International.

In their new roles both Roe and Chancellor report to Universal Music’s President of Global Marketing Andrew Kronfeld. In his Fiction Records responsibilities Chancellor continues to report to Universal Music UK Chairman and CEO David Joseph.

Michael Roe said: “Being an old Virgin boy Caroline was a label I always admired, so to be offered the opportunity to be involved with the name and its rich heritage is a great honour. Jim and I aim to bring together the culture and spirit of independents with the support and resources of a major music company to deliver a truly global solution. Having a label base in all major markets staffed with dedicated Caroline people supported by a significant and dedicated international marketing team and our colleagues at Caroline in the US gives us a unique global reach.”

Jim Chancellor said: “I’m really proud to be a part of Caroline. Artists and managers are looking for solid labels to work with and people they can trust. In Michael I have a partner who is proven to be THE best at label services and I am honoured to working with him. We can offer A&R input, if required, but most importantly, we can be a great independently minded label partner.  The heritage within Caroline is awesome and we hope we can continue to do the name proud.”

The launch of the new Caroline International comes in the 30th anniversary year of the original Caroline Distribution which was founded by Universal Music’s Virgin Records in New York in 1983 and grew into one of the leading independent distributors in the US.

Caroline was recently re-launched in North America under the leadership of President Dominic Pandiscia and EVP/GM Mike Harris and is the American sister company of Caroline International.

The first release under the Caroline International umbrella will be Peter Gabriel’s ‘And I’ll Scratch Yours’ on 23 September. Other artists and labels now part of Caroline International family include KoRn, Yuck, Century Media, Metropolis and Welk Music Group.

[Pictured: Jim Chancellor (left) and Michael Roe (right)]Music Business Worldwide

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