MUSHROOM GROUP LABEL DIVISION AND UMG’S VIRGIN MUSIC LABEL AND ARTIST SERVICES ANNOUNCE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP
Mushroom also appoints London-based Korda Marshall as International Director to co-lead the partnership with Mushroom Label and Publishing’s COO Chris Maund.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, March 16, 2022 – Mushroom, Australia’s largest independent label group and Virgin Music Label & Artist Services (VLMAS), a division of music-based entertainment leader Universal Music Group (UMG) today announced a multi-layered global partnership to support and distribute Mushroom artists’ releases worldwide, outside of Australia and New Zealand.
Under the terms of the agreement, VLMAS will provide bespoke global promotion, marketing and audience label services to Mushroom’s existing US and UK infrastructure. In addition, in order to fully leverage UMG’s global infrastructure and support, selected Mushroom artists’ releases will be issued through UMG’s major label network, when agreed by both parties.
Mushroom’s Chief Executive, Matt Gudinski said “Mushroom has been a market leader for decades in Australia and today we take another huge step in building Mushroom into a truly global brand. Our A&R staff are world class and we, together with Virgin/UMG, are going to break artists from any part of the globe to every part of the globe. Lucian, David and the Virgin team are better placed than any other music company to help us deliver on our ambition and we are ecstatic to form this partnership.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group said, “This global alliance between Mushroom and Virgin Music, marks the beginning of a new collaboration between two historically entrepreneurial companies that have both introduced countless superstar artists and helped shape and influence independent music for decades. We’re thrilled to be working with Matt Gudinski, who is honoring his father’s great legacy by bringing Mushroom to new heights, and with Korda who has been a force in the UK creative community for decades.”
Mushroom Label’s C.O.O, Chris Maund said, “With Mushroom Labels unique mix of niche alternative artists through to those dominating charts, this partnership with Virgin/Universal gives us the flexibility and range to deliver results across the board. We felt musically and culturally aligned with Virgin/UMG from our first meetings and we can’t wait to get stuck in.”
David Joseph, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music UK said, “Virgin Music and Mushroom are two labels with entrepreneurship and innovation at their heart. This is a natural partnership bringing together two exceptional teams who are aligned on a very simple ethos: delivering choice and a best in class service for artists and their businesses on a truly global scale.”
Vanessa Bosåen, MD, Virgin Music Label & Artist Services U.K. said, “Mushroom Group has long been admired as an exceptional home for artists and Virgin Music is absolutely thrilled to be in partnership with such a strong line-up of labels. VMLAS’ global network offers Mushroom’s labels a new way to plug in to the world and reach more music fans than ever before. We’ll be working together across time zones, genres and borders to build the future of how independent labels can operate on a global stage.”
To co-lead the Mushroom Label divisions global operations, Mushroom also announced the appointment of the highly respected music entrepreneur Korda Marshall as International Director. Based in London, Korda moves from BMG who purchased Infectious Records in 2014 and enjoyed global success with the likes of alt-J, DMA’S, Bloc Party, Ry-X, Richard Ashcroft and The Temper Trap.
No stranger to the Mushroom Group, Korda held the MD position at Mushroom Records prior to its sale to News Corp in 1998, where he was instrumental in the success of Muse, Garbage, Ash and Paul Oakenfold.
Of the partnership Marshall said “I’m so happy to be returning to the Mushroom Group, it feels like coming home after a long and winding road trip around the music business and I look forward to working with all the Labels and their amazing artists. Our new deal with Universal provides a fantastic opportunity to work closely with one of the finest music companies in the World. Lucian, David and the Virgin teams led by Vanessa, Jim, Jacqueline and Matt have all been very impressive and together we can become a real alternative home for great talent and creative ideas”.
The Mushroom Group, founded by the late Australian music icon Michael Gudinski, and now led by his son Matt, is the home to some of the world’s most successful and iconic labels and artists mushroomlabels.com
To kickstart the new partnership, Mushroom is elated to confirm that the next releases from DMA’S (following their #4 UK, #2 Australian and #1 Scottish album The Glow), Spotify global radar artist merci, mercy (WATCH HERE), buzz acts Mia Wray (WATCH HERE), and Radio 1 backed artist Yen Strange (WATCH HERE). The first UK signing by Marshall is joshua epithet (WATCH HERE), with the strength of Mushroom’s full release schedule to be revealed in the coming months.
The Mushroom label division remains 100% independently owned and its established ANZ operations will remain unchanged as a result of the partnership. Mushroom will continue to digitally distribute itself in ANZ, as proud Merlin members, and continues its long standing physical distribution partnership with Universal Music Australia.
VMLAS is a network of regional hubs strategically positioned in the world’s leading music markets that delivers premium artist and label services to the industry’s most dynamic entrepreneurs and independent talent. Founded on the spirit and ethos of the Virgin brand, long synonymous with disruptive innovation and musical creativity, VMLAS provides artists and labels with global and regional solutions and resources from fully staffed operations across major music markets, including the fast-growing Latin music territories, with more to come.
Since its launch in January 2021, VMLAS has opened divisions in the U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany and across Central Europe, France, Australia & New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Western Balkans, Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Portugal with further markets to launch in the coming months.
About Mushroom Labels
The centre point of the Mushroom Group’s artist and label services division. It is home to celebrated label imprints including Liberation Records, Ivy League, I OH YOU, Soothsayer, Bloodlines, Liberator Music and 100s + 1000s.
About Universal Music Group
At Universal Music Group, we exist to shape culture through the power of artistry. UMG is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content. Featuring the most comprehensive catalogue of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms, and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. For more information, visit www.universalmusic.com.