Universal combines playlist and compilations strategy as it rebrands UMTV


Universal Music UK has signaled its intentions to move compilations into the streaming age with the launch of an all-new brand: Universal Music On Demand.

Streaming poses a unique problem for compilations companies: if 100m+ consumers are permitted to create playlists on the likes of Spotify for free, is there any way to return value from such services to those experts whose job it is to select, mix and order tracks?

Also, what’s to stop streaming platform users from simply copying such expertly-chosen collections of tracks… and never needing to buy a compilation album to enjoy the privilege?

These are the posers Universal Music On Demand (UMOD) will have to tackle… having killed off and replaced the UMTV brand at the major label’s UK HQ.

UMOD will co-ordinate Universal Music’s playlist strategy across the UK company, working with all of the group’s labels and building on its existing suite of playlist brands including 100 Percent, THIS IS, Radio Active and HITS.

It will also work on Universal’s traditional compilation business, plus unique artist projects and affiliated brand deals.

UMOD will be headed up by Simon Barnabas (pictured), who joined UMTV as Managing Director in April after 16 years at Sony Music.

He will continue to report directly to Universal Music UK chairman and CEO David Joseph.

Barnabas said: “Universal Music On Demand is a seismic leap for the playlisting and compilation side of Universal Music UK’s business.

“This is a seismic leap for the playlisting and compilation side of universal music UK’s business.”

Simon Barnabas, UMOD

“It is a strategic response to market changes and the demands of music fans which will allow us to capitalise on the exciting and emerging opportunities within this new age of streaming.

“The formation of UMOD reflects the growing importance of playlists both culturally and commercially.”

UMOD says it has established a new team of ‘talented curators, analysts and innovative marketers’.

Barnabas added: “We will also continue the label’s great work in the traditional compilation and artist market, with an exceptional Q4 release schedule ahead to look forward to.”Music Business Worldwide

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