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Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

Universal Music Teams With Authentic Brands to Manage Artist Names, Likenesses

Universal Music Group is entering into a partnership with Authentic Brands Group to acquire and manage artist and celebrity brands.

The Santa Monica-based company announced the strategic initiative Nov. 16. The deal will pair Universal’s artist management pedigree with New York City-based ABG’s robust portfolio of celebrity brands to market artist names and likenesses across a variety of consumer-facing businesses, including merchandising, memorabilia, licensing, media and entertainment.

“UMG and ABG have strong track records as powerful stewards of artist and celebrity brands,” Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group, said in a statement. “Through this initiative, we will invest in name and likeness rights to create unique opportunities for artists with the goal of greatly expanding their cultural and commercial impact.”

The news comes one day after ABG, which owns celebrity brands such as those of Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley, acquired London-based photo agency Iconic Images, which owns millions of images of celebrities from the worlds of fashion, music and pop culture.

ABG’s partnership with Universal Music brings the music rights to an artist’s catalog underneath the same umbrella as that artist’s name and likeness, effectively amplifying opportunities to generate revenue across products and media, including film and TV.

Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based reporter and film critic with 20+ years of experience at dozens of print and online outlets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and Fangoria. An obsessive soundtrack collector, sneaker aficionado and member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Todd currently lives in Silverlake, California with his amazing wife Julie, two cats Beatrix and Biscuit, and several thousand books, vinyl records and Blu-rays.

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