According to the announcement, the deal encompasses the exclusive distribution of physical and digital formats for recorded music and short-form video content — including Nas’ forthcoming Kanye West-produced album, which is out Friday — and provides Mass Appeal with the ability to strategically leverage UMG’s marketing and promotion teams across more than 60 territories for select artists and projects.
UMG will also distribute Mass Appeal’s extensive catalog of releases from artists who include DJ Shadow, J Dilla and Run the Jewels, as well as forthcoming projects including the 11th solo record from Nas (pictured above), which will be a collaboration between Mass Appeal and Nas’ longtime label, UMG’s Def Jam.
In announcing the partnership, Nas said, “I’ve been blessed to work with two of the best brands in music. Columbia Records was how I got my start and Def Jam was where I continued that journey. In my next chapter, I am proud to say that I am signing myself to myself. I look forward to releasing many projects in the very near future with Mass Appeal’s new global partnership with UMG.”
Last year, UMG successfully led Mass Appeal’s $6 million Series A funding round.
Peter Bittenbender, CEO of Mass Appeal, said, “In the 15 months since joining forces with UMG, we have seen the Mass Appeal brand expand rapidly, experiencing our most successful year to date. Much like fans across the world we are hyped that Nas is finally dropping his new album and couldn’t be more proud that it’s our first release through this new partnership.”
Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President at UMG, said, “Mass Appeal is a thriving multimedia platform that speaks to an audience that is increasingly influencing culture. I couldn’t be more thrilled to expand our relationship. UMG will now provide Mass Appeal’s label with our expertise and resources to maximize the global opportunities for their exceptional roster of artists.”
Mass Appeal recently developed and produced “Rapture” an eight–part series on Netflix about hip-hop and its influence on culture in 2018. Each episode explores the persona of a different rap artist, including Nas, Dave East, T.I., Rapsody, Logic, G-Eazy, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, 2 Chainz and Just Blaze.