UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP (UMG) AND MOONTOAST ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO EXPAND UMG’S DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER OFFERINGS
Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company, will further expand its line-up of direct-to-consumer offerings and services for music fans through an agreement with Moontoast, a leading social marketing, social commerce and analytics company. The announcement was made today by Randy Malinoff, Head of D2C eCommerce for UMG, and Marcus Whitney, co-founder and CTO of Moontoast.
As part of this agreement, UMG will utilize Moontoast’s social commerce and analytics platform to launch, promote and sell music, merchandise and related goods through digital and social channels including Facebook, artist websites and artist fan sites.
“Social is the next frontier in the digital music revolution and Moontoast’s market leading platform allows UMG’s artists and labels to reach their fans anytime and anywhere,” stated Randy Malinoff, Head of D2C eCommerce for UMG. “Having already powered successful social commerce campaigns for our Universal Music Nashville, Island Def Jam and Interscope labels, we’re thrilled to select Moontoast to power our direct to consumer initiatives companywide.”
Music is one of the most popular digital goods categories and 2011 was a record-breaking year for digital downloads, with 1.3 billion digital songs sold. According to Nielsen’s 2012 study, album sales are already up 15 percent compared to the same period last year, with over 1 billion digital songs sold by October 1. Social media is indeed fueling this digital music revolution; many of the top social media performers are musicians, with Eminem, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga ranking in the top 10 for worldwide social media presence. Music fans are flocking to social channels to follow their favorite musicians. Seven of the top 10 accounts on Twitter are musicians and 50 percent of Twitter users follow at least one musician.
“Moontoast is excited and honored to be expanding our relationship with Universal Music Group,” commented Marcus Whitney, Moontoast co-founder and CTO. “As a music lover, it is both professionally and personally gratifying to be helping the world’s leading artists and labels build closer relationships with their fans. We are looking forward to delivering a broad variety of offers to passionate fans across the globe.”
Making Social Work
Today’s release follows an exciting quarter for Moontoast. Last month, the company announced its Northeast office move from Andover to Boston and the expansion of its executive team with Vice President of Business Development, Anand Raman, and Vice President of Sales, Ryan Burke, as well as its partnership with ExactTarget to bring Moontoast’s Social Activation Engine to ExactTarget customers through their SocialPages product. Additionally, Whitney was named CTO of the Year by the Nashville Technology Council. Before that, the company unveiled its suite of social activation applications, several new customers including Procter & Gamble, Time Inc. and Simon & Schuster, and expanded key partnerships with Demandware, Magento, Mercent, PayPal and Facebook.
To help brands drive social engagement and growth, as well as lead generation and sales, the company’s social marketing applications can be distributed anywhere online and load at the point of impression with the user. These interactive applications work in tandem with the Moontoast Social Analytics Suite, which was built from the ground up to deliver critical insights that help clients understand their relationships, relevancy, and results. Customized views allow users to see which messages led to interactions, transactions and endorsements, giving marketers and brand managers a full suite of powerful, social marketing apps that include the ability to self-fund social campaigns through commerce-enablement and to keep users continuously engaged.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the global music leader, with wholly owned operations in 60 territories. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s premier music publishing operations worldwide.
Universal Music Group’s record labels include A&M/Octone, Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol Records, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, I.R.S., Island Records, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, Manhattan, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Republic Records, Universal Music Latino, Verve Music Group and Virgin Records, 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 catalogue of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world’s most popular artists and their recordings. UMG’s catalogue 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 Global Digital Business, its new media and technologies division and Bravado, its merchandising company.
Universal Music Group is a fully owned subsidiary of Vivendi.
Moontoast is an emerging leader in social marketing, social commerce and social analytics. Moontoast’s Social Activation Engine enables brands to effectively focus their social efforts on relationships, relevancy and results through a library of social engagement and commerce applications distributed on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs and affiliate websites. Brands can directly measure social and transactional results using Moontoast’s patented Social Analytics Suite. Gartner Research has named Moontoast a “Cool Vendor” in Music and eCommerce, and Billboard Magazine called Moontoast a “Top Startup of 2011.” For more information, visit www.moontoast.com.