Universal Launches Virgin Music Group, Including Virgin, Ingrooves and Newly Acquired Mtheory Artist Partnerships

Virgin Music Group logo
Courtesy Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group has announced the launch of the Virgin Music Group, a new global division comprised of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services, Ingrooves Music Group and Mtheory Artist Partnerships.

The third element is new to UMG: It has acquired Mtheory’s bespoke label division, Mtheory Artist Partnerships, although its manager services business is not part of the transaction and will remain wholly independent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  

The Virgin Music Group, which brings the company’s label and artist services businesses under one unit, will be overseen by Mtheory founders JT Myers and Nat Pastor as co-CEOs, who will report directly to UMG Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge. A specific breakdown of the units is below.

All Virgin Music Label and Artist Services regional hubs will become part of the Virgin Music Group, operating under a unified strategy while still leveraging the local A&R expertise and creative networks in their respective countries. This includes Virgin Music Label & Artist Services in the U.S., which will evolve from a division of Capitol Music Group to a standalone company serving all UMG’s U.S. labels and partners.

In making the announcement, Grainge said, “In order to remain the best home for artists and entrepreneurs we must drive innovation in our own businesses—offering new and high-quality resources for artists from all corners of the world while continuing to lead the industry’s transformation.  Nat and JT’s track record for creating forward-thinking partnerships with artists that are built on a foundation of trust, creativity and business acumen is exactly the kind of leadership we want for the new Virgin Music Group division.  Together with our frontline labels and global footprint, Virgin Music Group offers artists unmatched creative and commercial support.” 

Mtheory’s Manager Services business will remain fully independent, under the leadership of newly appointed CEO Cameo Carlson. In addition, and as part of the transaction, Mtheory will spin out its MPRS Global producer royalty administration platform, of which mtheory Co-Founder Jon McMillan will become CEO.

According to the announcement, Virgin Music Group includes:

•    Virgin Music Label & Artist Services. Launched in 2021, Virgin Music Label & Artist Services is a network of regional hubs strategically positioned in the world’s leading music markets to deliver premium artist and label services to the industry’s entrepreneurs and independent talent. Virgin Music Label & Artist Services has operations in the U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany and across Central Europe, France, Côte d’Ivoire (servicing African markets and talent), Australia & New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Western Balkans & Serbia and across Latin America & Iberia, including offices in the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Portugal.  

•    Ingrooves Music Group.  Acquired by UMG in 2019, Ingrooves is a leader in music distribution, marketing and technology. Ingrooves’ suite of offerings includes marketing strategy, insights and analytics, rights management, advertising, royalty accounting, video monetization and music licensing, all accessible through its client platform. Headquartered in Los Angeles, InGrooves operates globally and has offices throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

•    Mtheory Artist Partnerships. UMG has acquired Mtheory’s bespoke label division, Mtheory Artist Partnerships. The label creates partnerships with artists, and employs a global marketing approach.