Alain Veille appointed UM³ VP of TV merchandising

LONDON, 6 JULY 1999 — Wolf Urban, Universal Music International’s senior vice president in charge of strategic marketing today finalized his senior team with the appointment of Alain Veille as vice president of TV merchandising. Urban also unveiled the new name for his division – UM³ – and outlined its strategy.

UM³ is the division of UMI that covers all areas of strategic marketing outside North America. The name (pronounced U-M-three) is derived from the division’s three strands:

* Catalogue marketing, which will generally focus on pop repertoire which has been on release for at least 18 months for sale through traditional retail channels.

* Commercial and consumer marketing, which includes all forms of direct-to-consumer sales and distribution through non-traditional channels.

* TV merchandising, which covers all albums and compilations (except new releases) promoted by TV advertising or other above-the-line methods.

* UM³ will work to maximize the profile and value of Universal Music’s catalogue, the largest in the world. At present only around a quarter of that catalogue is available to buy at any time. With the various marketing and sales tools at its disposal, UM³ aims to work Universal’s catalogue more energetically and intensively than ever before through a number of new initiatives:

* UM³ will work very closely with Max Hole, UMI’s senior vice president of marketing and A&R, and his team, and with Universal’s frontline marketing departments around the world to complement their efforts.

* Under the new structure, albums will shift from being the responsibility of frontline marketing to UM³ around 18 months after release in order to allow frontline departments to concentrate on marketing and establishing their current artist releases.

* UM³ will take a renewed look at the Universal Music catalogue to find any unearthed musical ‘gems’ and devise strategies to bring them to the attention of consumers.

* The new unified structure of UM³ is also designed to facilitate cross-label catalogue initiatives.

Urban said: “UM³ has been designed so that we can work closely with our frontline marketing colleagues and ensure that good ideas travel around the company both horizontally and vertically. Our focus is consumers and their needs, finding the right music for the right people.”

So far Universal Music International has dedicated strategic marketing divisions in 35 countries with more expected to follow. The central UM³ office in London acts as a service centre for the local, domestic operations, providing marketing concepts and strategic advice and acting as a conduit for the transfer of ideas.

Wolf Urban and UM³ will work closely with their Los Angeles-based counterpart Bruce Resnikoff and his UME (Universal Music Entertainment) division, the North American equivalent of UM³.

Reporting to Urban are UM³’s three vice presidents: Linda Greenhalgh, vice president, commercial and consumer marketing, and Julian Huntly, vice president, catalogue marketing, who were appointed in March 1999, and the newly appointed Alain Veille, vice president TV merchandising, who takes up his role in the autumn.

Veille is currently managing director of Podis, Universal Music France’s strategic marketing division that is the country’s leader in TV advertised compilations. The company accounts for over 30 percent of the market and has several artists directly signed to it, including Turkish superstar Tarkan. Veille joined Podis in 1997 from Sony Music where he had spent the previous four-and-a-half years, most recently as managing director of the company’s special marketing division. Prior to Sony Veille worked at EMI Music and at advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather.

Urban said: “Alain is the right person for this important job. He has all the necessary marketing and media experience as well as the instinct to make the right concept decisions.”

Veille said: “TV marketing is a crucial part of our business all over the world and one in which Universal has a leading part to play, considering the strength of our current music and our back catalogue. At UM³ TV I intend to assist all countries to develop this activity further.”

Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 59 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations, and Universal Concerts.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels A&M, Blue Thumb, Decca Record Company, Def Jam, Deutsche Grammophon, Geffen, GRP, Impulse!, Interscope, Island, MCA, MCA Nashville, Mercury, Mercury Nashville, Motown, Philips, Polydor, Universal, and Verve as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world.

Universal Music Group is a unit of The Seagram Company Ltd., a global entertainment and spirits and wine company.