Jessica Goodfellow
Sep 19, 2019

Universal Music Group and Viacom invest in Asia

Universal Music Group and Viacom, two of the world’s biggest music and TV companies, have both revealed significant investments in Asia.

Universal Music Group and Viacom invest in Asia

Universal Music Group is opening new offices in Singapore and Vietnam as part of a significant injection in Southeast Asia, while Viacom is creating an eight-part series for Facebook featuring social influencers in Asia, it was announced at the All That Matters conference in Singapore.

The music corporation has opened a new Singapore office, which will act as its regional headquarters for Southeast Asia, and will open a Vietnam office later in the year.

It is also launching Def Jam Southeast Asia to focus on what it called the “vibrant hip-hop scene within the region”, and Astralwerks Asia, a label that will focus on nurturing talent within Asia across the electronic genre and beyond.

Meanwhile it will roll out its marketing and distribution businesses, Ingrooves and Spinnup, to support independent artists, labels and talent throughout the region.

The announcements were made by Universal Music Group’s executive VP of market development Adam Granite, who said: “It is an honor to be here in Singapore, alongside Calvin Wong, our CEO for Southeast Asia and with many of our senior-executives from around the world, to celebrate this strategic expansion of UMG’s operations across the region, which serves as a mark of commitment and respect for both the music culture in the region, and our belief in its future.”

Separately, Viacom International Media Networks announced a partnership with Facebook to launch a slate of eight original shortform series created for Facebook’s video platform, Watch.

The series will be created by MTV Asia as part of Facebook’s video incubation program, Match, which matches video creators on the social network with publishers. Facebook began recruiting publishers including Viacom Digital Studios in the US to the program earlier this year.

Facebook will fund and license the shows, which will feature local influencers, with genres ranging across music entertainment, pro-social and reality. Four shows will premiere later this year while the remaining four will be developed in 2020.

It expands on its existing relationship with VIMN in the region with Facebook Watch show MTV’s The Real World: Bangkok, which premiered in June.

“Creating original content is a key focus for us in Asia,” VIMN senior VP and general manager for Southeast Asia Paras Sharma said. “Working with Facebook further amplifies the content creation opportunity as with this partnership, there is the potential to bring the power of MTV’s original ideas and storytelling to new audiences whenever and wherever they are consuming content.”

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