Overview

DIGITAL INNOVATION

As the world’s leading music-based entertainment company, UMG has a unique responsibility to ensure a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem around music and digital media. After all, UMG is a collection of companies founded by the most successful entrepreneurs in the history of the music industry.  Today, that culture of risk-taking and invention lives on as there are more entrepreneurs working within the UMG family than ever before. 

The UMG Digital Innovation team’s purpose is to drive significant ethical and responsible innovation in the music-tech ecosystem, through the development of the next generation of diverse music-related startups and entrepreneurs who accelerate the next wave of transformation. The team is especially focused on founders who deliver exciting new experiences to consumers and revolutionize artist and fan engagement, as well as those who use the transformative power of music to enhance humans’ lives or contribute to wider societal good.

To advance an environment of growth in the music space, UMG created a number of initiatives including the UMG Innovation Partner Network, our in-house incubator programs Abbey Road RED and UMG Connect, Digital Innovation Licenses and events within the digital music ecosystem, including innovation challenges, startup competition support, panel discussions and educational programming on the business of music.

In 2024, UMG launched UMusicLift – an online hub dedicated to supporting startups with learning resources, news, spotlights, and pathways to connect with the Digital Innovation team.

Our company values are deeply embedded in supporting creators of all kinds, including those focused on digital technology. We are the home for music’s greatest artists, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Michael Nash, EVP, Chief Digital Officer said: “Since the inception of the Digital Innovation program in 2017, UMG has been at the forefront of nurturing the music-tech ecosystem globally, developing partnerships with key networks, embracing and mentoring startups, and creating programs and collaboration opportunities to support these emerging businesses. By advancing entrepreneurial innovation, these initiatives also drive significant value for UMG and, by extension, our artists. As technology continues to transform the media landscape, UMG’s ongoing commitment to bolstering this vital ecosystem is central to our mission, and we look forward to supporting the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”

INNOVATION PARTNER NETWORK

Through our Innovation Partner Network, UMG supports leading technology accelerators, competitions and programs in major entrepreneurial hubs around the world to foster the next generation of music-related startups. Click here to learn more about UMG’s Innovation Partner Network, and how to apply to their programs.

INITIATIVES

Universal Music Group’s world-renowned labels and recording studios have long been synonymous with cutting-edge technology and artistry. To continue this tradition, our labels and studios have created unique forward-thinking programs to contribute to the technology ecosystem. Click here to learn more about our initiatives including Abbey Road RED and UMG Connect.

DIGITAL INNOVATION LICENSES

To help entrepreneurs bring exciting new products to market, we are making Digital Innovation Licenses available to early-stage companies. These streamlined licenses require a minimum of process and time for the startup. To find out more and apply for a Digital Innovation License from UMG, please click here.

UMUSICLIFT

Passionate about democratizing access to learning for startups, UMG Digital Innovation created UMusicLift, an online hub created especially for startups, where they can learn about the music industry and pathways to collaborating with UMG, as well as be kept up to date with news announcements, developments and case studies from UMG and its innovation partners.

UMusicLift

UMUSICLIFT

Passionate about democratizing access to learning for startups and focused on driving ethical and responsible innovation in the music-tech ecosystem; UMG Digital Innovation launched UMusicLift to help them reach the community, and educate them on the nuances – licensing, processes and legalities – of the music industry.

Carefully curated editorial, learning resources, spotlights and pathways to connect and collaborate with the team can all be found at umusiclift.com. This includes a series of informative videos to help startups better understand the industry and its main components, including practical advice on how to navigate the ecosystem, as well news and features sharing a host of information, from UMG and its innovation partners.

Licenses

DIGITAL INNOVATION LICENSES

We want to enable entrepreneurs to test products and prove concepts with licensed musical content. To assist, we’ve pioneered a streamlined R&D license designed to grant access to UMG’s catalog to qualifying early-stage companies for development and testing purposes.

To learn more about UMG’s Digital Innovation Licenses, please email us at umgdigitalbusiness@umusic.com.

Initiatives

INITIATIVES

The spirit of innovation continues to drive various programs powered by Universal Music Group’s iconic labels and studios. These initiatives bridge the gap between the music industry, entrepreneurs, students and the tech community.

Abbey Road Red

Continuing over 90 years of innovation at Abbey Road, Red offers a bespoke six-month incubation program for music tech startups, shaped to leverage its expertise, assets and network to advance early-stage businesses that are building at the intersection of music and technology.

Abbey Road Red supports founders on their journey to success. Whether it’s helping with product market fit, business development, strategy, deep tech advice, investor relations or interfacing with the global music industry, the program supports people shaping the next generation of artist-first technologies. Click here to learn more.

Abbey Road Red

UMG CONNECT

Launched in 2021 by the Digital Innovation team, UMG Connect is an exclusive, annual 2-month startup incubation program designed to support emerging technologies and innovations throughout UMG’s global organization. UMG Connect is distinguished by curated mentorship between a select group of high potential startups, cross-disciplinary UMG executives for strategic advisory and collaboration exploration.

UMG Connect Logo

Partners

INNOVATION PARTNER NETWORK

The Digital Innovation team supports the pivotal contributions that ecosystem partners provide to the global music-tech community. UMG works closely with leading entertainment and technology advisors, accelerators, incubators and investors in major entrepreneurial hubs around the world to assist in the education, mentorship and development of music-focused startups.

Working closely with UMG’s global offices and local industry players, the Digital Innovation team aims to establish an inclusive, international Partner Network to drive the development and growth of the next- generation of music technologies, products and services.

For music-tech partners interested in joining UMG’s Partner Network, please email umgdigitalbusiness@umusic.com.

 

PARTNER NETWORKS: