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ON THE BMM COVER:
RICO WADE
ATL legend (6/17a)
KEN & FRIENDS FILL THE FORUM
High times in Inglewood (6/20a)
BEADS! FEEDS! TIKTOK EXPANDS TAY'S ERAS TOUR HUB
Collect 'em all (6/20a)
FESTIVAL FORECAST: IT'S MUDDY OUT THERE
Sloshing through the fun (6/20a)
WELCOME TO ATLANTA
Black Music Month in the ATL (6/18a)
THE GRAMMY SHORT LIST
Who's already a lock?
COUNTRY'S NEWEST DISRUPTOR
Three chords and some truth you may not be ready for.
AI IS ALREADY EATING YOUR LUNCH
The kids can tell the difference... for now.
INDIE DISTRIBUTION'S RISE TO GLORY
The discovery engine is revving higher.
Blighty Beat
UMG BUYS INTO [PIAS]
11/30/22

UMG has acquired a minority share of the [PIAS] Group, expanding upon the “global strategic alliance” that UMG and [PIAS] forged in 2021. Under the new agreement, in which UMG has 49% of the company, [PIAS] remains fully independent with its founders, Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot, maintaining majority control.

UMG will have no seats on the company’s board.

Sir Lucian Grainge praised “the boldly independent and music-centric culture” that Gates and Lambot have built over the last four decades, “which has provided a vital creative network to so many artists.”

“While much of the past was focused on ‘majors vs. indies,’ it’s clear that today, the important divide in our industry is about those committed to artist development versus those committed to quantity over quality,” he said. “We share Kenny and Michel’s passion for developing artists and moving culture, and we recognize that a healthy music ecosystem needs companies like [PIAS] who are committed to amplifying the best voices in independent music.”

Gates said the deal will allow his company to compete with finance and tech giants while providing support to enable growth. “Universal made it clear that they like us, they trust us and they need us, because they can’t do what we do and they value it highly,” he said.

“This move makes us stronger and secures the future of our brand, our staff and our partners while maintaining control of our destiny.”

Lambot added: “We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Universal Music Group team since we announced our strategic global alliance with them last year. Kenny and I are celebrating our company’s 40th anniversary this year and we are still as ambitious as we were when we started out about growing our global presence and providing a world class service to the independent music community.”