UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP TAKES FULL OWNERSHIP OF GETMUSIC
GetMusic and Farmclub.com To Be CombinedTo Create Global Internet Music Content Powerhouse
Universal Completes Buy-out of BMG’s Interest in GetMusic Joint Venture; Names Andrew Nibley CEO
New York and Santa Monica, California, April 25, 2001 – Underscoring its mission to provide consumers across the globe with premier entertainment content across all platforms, Universal Music Group (UMG) today announced that it has taken full ownership of the music media company GetMusic, acquiring the half owned by BMG Entertainment. Concurrently, UMG announced plans to integrate the operations of Farmclub.com and GetMusic to create a preeminent global online music content destination. BMG will continue to work with GetMusic after the sale to supply programming content from the BMG family of labels in the future.
Andrew Nibley, who joined GetMusic LLC as President and CEO in October 1999, has been named Chief Executive Officer of the combined GetMusic-Farmclub.com operations. In this role he will be responsible for all of UMG’s music portal activities around the world. Andy Nibley will report to Doug Morris, Chairman and CEO, UMG, and Zach Horowitz, President and COO, UMG.
“The joining of GetMusic and Farmclub.com operations builds on the strength of both companies and creates one of the Web’s most compelling online music content destinations,” said Zach Horowitz. “Both attract a strong, loyal and growing audience. Andy Nibley has developed GetMusic into one of the Internet’s most popular music sites and he’s one of those rare executives with great creativity and strong business acumen.”
Both GetMusic and Farmclub.com will continue to work with artists from all labels to offer the most wide-ranging entertainment to consumers.
The newly combined operations will maintain headquarters in New York with offices in Los Angeles, Nashville and London. GetMusic International Ltd. will work hand in hand with Vizzavi, the multi-access European portal created in a joint venture between Vivendi Universal and Vodafone, the global leader in mobile telephony, to roll out music programming and commerce throughout Europe. GetMusic International Ltd. will also integrate the operations of Voxstar, Universal Music International’s internally developed music portal.
“I am honored that UMG is giving me the opportunity to oversee the joint GetMusic-Farmclub.com operations and to further create, on a global basis, dynamic, entertaining programming for fans of all music genres,” said Nibley. “I am immensely grateful to BMG for all its contributions to GetMusic over the years and am pleased that BMG and its labels will work with us going forward.”
Added Jorgen Larsen, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music International, “I welcome the creation of one Universal music portal, which will operate globally as GetMusic, allowing us to focus on both consumer needs and our own marketing requirements in a unified fashion. I look forward to UMI being part of GetMusic’s international expansion and working with Andy Nibley.”
GetMusic LLC was established in April 1999 as a joint venture between UMG and BMG. Under the direction of Nibley, GetMusic has transitioned from a fledgling online venture into one of the Internet’s top-trafficked music content and community sites.
According to industry tracker Nielsen//NetRatings, GetMusic.com surpassed 2 million unique users in March 2001, doubling its monthly traffic numbers from October 2000 and making it one of the highest-trafficked music content destinations on the Internet.
The Farmclub.com web site launched in February 2000 will continue to offer unsigned artists the chance to reach a worldwide audience by making their music available for downloading and streaming, in addition to presenting music, videos and interviews. Farmclub.com will also continue its role as an A&R source for the Universal Music Group family of labels. The Farmclub.com web site generated about 900,000 unique users in March 2001, growing 50% over the previous month’s traffic numbers (according to Nielsen//NetRatings). To date, the Farmclub.com record label has sold in excess of 2 million units worldwide through its first three releases: Sonique’s Hear My Cry, Dynamite Hack’s Superfast and Fisher’s True North.
Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels A&M Records, Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, 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 U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.).
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.