Universal Music Group (UMG) is launching Mercury Studios, a new outfit that will encompass existing global film and television producer Eagle Rock Entertainment (ERE).
The new content studio will develop, produce and invest in innovative, music-based storytelling. Music will serve as the foundation for projects across performance/live, factual/reality, scripted, artist and filmmaker partnerships and remastering and audio originals via film and television content, podcasts and short form content. In addition, Mercury will leverage ERE’s global sales division alongside home video and digital media distribution.
Mercury Studios will be led by Alice Webb, who was appointed CEO of ERE by Universal Music U.K. chair and CEO David Joseph in 2019, following a successful 15-year career at the BBC, where she was director of children’s and education. Joseph will position Mercury as a key contributor to UMG’s global audio-visual strategy, reporting to UMG’s chair and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge.
ERE’s library of nearly 2,000 hours of programming and more than 800 titles of original documentaries, television and film content includes documentary titles “Miles Davis: Birth of The Cool” and current Grammy Award nominee “That Little Ol’ Band from Texas,” the story of ZZ Top, and the catalogue also includes some of the most iconic performances and concert footage in history from artists such as The Rolling Stones, Ella Fitzgerald, Queen and Dr Dre.
Universal Music U.K.’s David Joseph said: “Mercury Studios will bring together the very best in the business under the exceptional leadership of Alice, who has already proved herself as a dynamic creative innovator, not least during her time at the BBC. Mercury will be about bold ideas, exciting new talent but above all compelling visual storytelling, all of which will be demonstrated with the exciting projects we will be announcing over the coming weeks.”
Alice Webb, CEO of Mercury Studios, said: “Music is a passion — it touches every part of our lives, which is why Mercury Studios is such an exciting proposition. We are unique — bringing together expertise from across music, film and television in factual, scripted, premium audio, performance and so much more. We can offer creators a vibrant space to realize the projects they are truly passionate about, tapping into the wealth of expertise we have access to. We are also keen to welcome new blood: talented, ambitious people who want to make distinctive, relevant content with music at its heart.”
Mercury Studios will carry on ERE’s history of filming live performances, most recently in the form of live-streamed concerts for artists including Sam Smith, Glass Animals and The Streets.
The new entity has an audio logo created by artist and composer Isobel Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”), and has utilized an updated version of the iconic ‘Mercury Man’ graphic logo from the original Mercury Records label.
Mercury Studios will have offices in London and Los Angeles.