UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP TO INVEST IN ALLIANCE TRACE MEDIA
New York, New York, Monday, March 26, 2007 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company, and Alliance TRACE Media (TRACE) announced today that UMG will become a global strategic investor in TRACE. UMG will receive a board seat and minority equity stake in TRACE. The terms and conditions of the transaction were not disclosed.
This agreement further expands UMG’s growing portfolio of strategic media investments while increasing commercial opportunities for its market-leading video catalogue and roster of artists. Universal will provide TRACE with global music/video rights, a weekly slot on IMF — the International Music Feed (UMG’s global pop brand with a 24-hour cable/satellite TV channel) — and cross promotion and marketing support, including the first ever urban music partnership to sell mobile content in China.
Nick Henny, Vice Chairman and CFO of UMG, will join the board of Directors of TRACE and work closely with TRACE-TV co-founders, Richard Wayner and Olivier Laouchez, on expanding strategic relationships with potential media and distribution partners globally. “Universal’s strategy is to become actively involved in all areas of media where our artists and our music are present,” said Mr. Henny. “We researched globally and we identified TRACE as one of the leading new networks reaching the new generation of international and multicultural youth.”
Pascal Negre — President, Mediterranean, South America and Middle East Region, Universal Music Group International (UMGI) and a member of the UMGI management board — will also work closely with the management of TRACE. Said Mr. Negre, “Richard Wayner and Olivier Laouchez have demonstrated the cultural and commercial vision to position TRACE as an influential force in the changing media landscape.”
Launched in 2003, TRACE owns TRACE-TV, based in Paris, France, which is the first and leading TV network and digital platform for international urban music and culture, reaching almost 50 million homes in nearly 100 countries and markets, including 9 million paid households in France, Germany, Poland, India, Russia, West Africa, China, Indonesia, Turkey and the Middle East.
TRACE will expand its existing operations across Internet, cable, satellite, radio, IPTV and mobile platforms internationally and looks to launch in the US market in 2007/8. “We started TRACE from scratch four years ago,” said Richard Wayner, co-founder, “and to have the support of the world’s leading music company and executives is a tremendous vote of confidence in the TRACE brand, its exclusive content and the TV network that we have built internationally.”
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries around the world. Its business also includes Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Music Group, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor Records, 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. 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 Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division, and Universal Music Mobile.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.
About Alliance TRACE Media
Alliance TRACE Media is the holding company of TRACE, the first and only brand and international media platform focused on urban music and culture. TRACE is the leading international media platform for “transcultural” and urban youth, 15- to 34-years old, living in major metropolitan areas. “Transculturalism” a phrase coined by TRACE Magazine founder Claude Grunitzky at the company’s inception, reflects the next mainstream market. It unites the youth and young adults from a diversity of cultural backgrounds by finding their commonality in shared music and cultural tastes. TRACE embraces the market for urban music and culture beyond the USA to Asia, India, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean.