UMG EXPANDS MOBILE ACTIVITIES WITH LAUNCH OF UNIVERSAL MUSIC MOBILE US (UMM-US)/RIO CARAEFF NAMED VP AND GM
Santa Monica, California, January 20, 2005 — Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company, today announced the expansion of its mobile activities with the launch of Universal Music Mobile US (UMM-US), a new domestic division to complement Universal Music Mobile International (UMMI), its pioneering mobile content company based in Paris.
The company also announced the appointment of Rio Caraeff to Vice President & General Manager of UMM-US, effective immediately. Caraeff will be based in Santa Monica and reports directly to Zach Horowitz, President and Chief Operating Officer of UMG.
The launch of Universal Music Mobile in 2002 marked the first significant commitment by a music major to capitalize upon the convergence of the mobile phone market with the worldwide demand for music and entertainment content on portable devices. Universal Music Mobile has since become a global leader in the sector, active in more than 50 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and South Africa. Dedicated to extending the reach of UMG artists and properties in the mobile world, the company provides content and operating services to more than 75 telcos and B2C service providers. These include the entire range of mobile personalization services, from ringtones, mastertones and ringbacks, to Multimedia Messaging Service (MSS), voicemail greetings and games.
“The mobile market has quickly become one of the industry’s most powerful platforms for delivering content directly to consumers,” stated Horowitz. “Building on our dramatic growth in this area over the last year, we are taking our efforts to the next level with the launch of UMM-US, and are confident that Rio and his dedicated staff will make the most out of every opportunity in the domestic mobile space, whether they involve music or non-music related content.”
In his new role, Caraeff will oversee all areas of UMM-US, liaising closely with UMG’s broad array of labels and eLabs division to coordinate mobile music and non-music related initiatives with current and emerging wireless technologies and platforms. He will also work closely with wireless carriers, device manufacturers and infrastructure providers to maximize mobile opportunities, create new products and enable new distribution channels for UMM content.
“The future growth of the mobile market will be very much dependent on the creative merchandising and effective presentation of content,” added Caraeff. “No one is better positioned to take full advantage of the many opportunities unfolding than Universal. Our incredible roster of chart-topping artists and deep catalog provide a wealth of well known brands to build Universal Music Mobile into a leading mobile entertainment company.”
Prior to joining Universal, Caraeff was Vice President of Wireless Services for Sony Pictures Digital, where he established the worldwide mobile entertainment publishing and licensing division for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Formerly, he founded and was Managing Partner of Fabric Group, LLC, a media and technology consulting firm. His background also includes stints as Vice President of Business Development & Investments for Sony 550 Digital Media Ventures and various positions at entertainment companies such as Capitol Records and Propaganda Films.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, DreamWorks Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the US) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the US). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.