Michelle Jubelirer is changing the culture at Capitol Music Group—just as the company fields its biggest hit in some time, the Sam Smith-Kim Petras duet “Unholy” (#1 at Spotify global and U.S. as of this writing). MJ and team now have a hot new signing in the form of rapper Kodak Black. The Theo Sedlmayr-repped Kodak is a Top 20 U.S. streaming artist YTD with 2.4b+ streams.

Jubelirer has made major strides in the diversification of the executive tier, hiring two exceptionally talented young Black execs: Gordan Dillard, brought aboard as EVP of A&R and artist development, and Orlando Wharton, tapped as CMG EVP and president of the relaunched Priority.

A PINT AT THE PUB: Incoming WMG CEO Robert Kyncl, for all his tech and financial expertise, will undoubtedly lean heavily on the music acumen of his record-music and publishing teams. For all the chatter about Kyncl and Max Lousada, it’s timely to remark on the great success of the company’s pub side. The Guy Moot-Carianne Marshall partnership at Warner Chappell has been firing on all cylinders, with a fabulous 35% increase in earnings last quarter, and an important role in the CRB victory for songwriters. Moot, a true A&R music head, has been integral to shaping and refining WCM’s highly welcoming creative culture, bolstered by the Bowie catalog acquisition, a re-up with Chris Stapleton and inking of Sam Smith, Lauren Spencer Smith and Latin-world phenom Paulo Londra.

INDEPENDENT DECLARATIONS: Records blowing up from the indie sector have shifted the center of gravity in the biz. Recent examples include giants from JVKE (on AWAL) and d4vd (which broke via Distrokid before being inked by Darkroom/Interscope). Lonny Olinick and AWAL label services have kicked in to bolster the former, while the Janick and Lubliner teams are developing the latter. Steve Lacy, whose “Bad Habit” is one of the year’s true rockets and is positively aglow with Grammy buzz, also came through the AWAL system prior to his RCA deal. Global distribution continues to create vast new opportunities for indie and major artists alike as John/Joan Q. Public continues to be a fulsome A&R source for the actives—though not always a great artist-development barometer. But you can’t always get what you want.

UMG continues to evolve its global distribution system to appeal to artists who don’t want to—or aren’t ready to—be part of the major leagues. With Virgin Music Group consolidated under JT Myers and Nat Pastor, Jacqueline Saturn continues to oversee full label services for Virgin and looks to have an expanded role in the new universe.

Global stadium acts like Bad Bunny and BTS have become wildly successful via the indie sector, and the proliferation of acts breaking from these new distribution centers are causing the majors throw a wider net in order to give these artists and small labels a network that will enable them to operate on a larger stage. It certainly appears that the indie sector will continue to be a major growth area over the next few years.