From The New York Times
The Universal Music Group, the giant record company that sells almost 40 percent of the world’s music, is about to get a little bigger through a deal with the independent label behind Mumford & Sons.
Glassnote, founded by Daniel Glass in 2007, has struck a global distribution agreement with Universal for its music, starting March 1. The deal is a blow to Sony Music Entertainment, which had handled Glassnote through its Red distribution unit.
“Daniel Glass is, quite simply, one of the most successful label entrepreneurs of the last decade,” Lucian Grainge, the chairman of Universal, said in a statement. “He represents the kind of innovation and creativity that defines who we are and who we aspire to be as an organization.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Mr. Glass, a former executive at labels like Chrysalis and EMI, has built Glassnote into one of the hottest indies in the business. Mumford & Sons, its biggest act, won the Grammy for album of the year in 2013 and has sold six million albums in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The label’s roster also includes the French band Phoenix, the rapper Childish Gambino, Two Door Cinema Club and the fast-rising Scottish group Chvrches.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Glass said the deal would help his label expand internationally. It also establishes a new business for him called Resolved, which Mr. Glass described as an outlet for striking various kinds of partnerships with music producers, record companies or other independent executives.
The deal would also put Mr. Glass in the midst of Mr. Grainge’s expanding empire. Universal, owned by the French conglomerate Vivendi, owns major labels like Def Jam, Interscope and Republic, as well as Capitol and Virgin, which it bought in 2011 as part of a complex deal that split up EMI. Universal also has distribution deals and other affiliations with a range of independents like Big Machine, which releases Taylor Swift, and Jay Z’s company, Roc Nation.
“Nobody takes care of entrepreneurs like Lucian,” Mr. Glass said. “He mentors you and turns you on to opportunities.”
Universal’s reach is also evident in its connections to many of Glassnote’s own acts. The company releases Mumford & Sons and Chvrches’ music in most countries outside North America, and Universal already administers the music publishing rights for most of Glassnote’s acts.