FONTANA LAUNCHES DIGITAL INITIATIVE
Fontana India The First In A Series Of International Catalog Releases
LOS ANGELES, December 11, 2006 – Fontana, the independent distribution arm of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's leading music company, has launched the first in a series of digital initiatives focused on releasing international catalog in the United States. Catalog from UMG India will be released in a digital only format, available through major digital retailers such as iTunes, Real Rhapsody, Napster and Walmart Digital, among others.
Under the Fontana India label, the company will distribute an extensive catalog of over 400 previously unreleased titles from the UMG India vaults. The catalog represents all genres of Indian music, encompassing a variety of styles and sub genres that have grown in popularity in the US and internationally. Currently, much of the most popular Indian music is derived from the soundtracks to Bollywood films, in which music plays a huge part, with actors and actresses commonly dancing and lip-synching as part of the film. In the 90’s, the expansion of Channel V and MTV to India led to a slightly westernized “Indipop” genre, which was then adopted by Indian DJs and popularized internationally.
Indian music also has many classical forms, such as Bhajans and Devotionals that are popular forms of religious music, and Ghazals, a form of poetry that originated in Persia, but has since turned into a distinctly Indian song form. The Fontana India catalog includes titles from some of the greatest Ghazal artists of all time, such as Pankaj Udhas and Jagjit Singh, who has set sales records since the release of his 1976 classic, “The Unforgettables.” Also represented in the Fontana India catalog are elite Bhajan and Devotional artists Mandar Udhas, Falguni Pathak, and Anup Jalota.
“We are thrilled to launch this exciting digital initiative with a country so rich in musical history,” stated Steve Pritchitt, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Fontana. “The complexity of the Indian music scene has so much to offer music fans everywhere and we are delighted that Fontana India will be able to bring previously unheard music to US Indian music fans of all ages.”
Fontana Distribution, the independent arm of UMGD, provides unparalleled sales and marketing support, as well as back office services, for a diverse roster of labels and their artists. Fontana distributes more than 60 labels including Vagrant Records, Telarc, VP Records, American Gramaphone, Quango, Mad Science Recordings, Angeles Records, Nitro, SMC, Upstairs Records, Warcon, Rendezvous, Big Vin, Delicious Vinyl, Ipecac, Six Degrees, Ingrooves, VH-1 Classics and many others. In addition, Fontana distributes select projects from UMG labels worldwide.