Record Label Research

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I researched record labels; some famous, other obscure. I included when they were founded. I believe if I were to work with one it would be Sony Music Entertainment. One of the “big three” it would have access to the best resources and would be most effective in representing my artist, for whom I would create my music video.

The Big Three

Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group is an American-French record label that presently operates as a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi.

The current CEO, Lucian Grainge, has held his position since the hand over in March 2011. Universal’s revenue is an overwhelmingly impressive 1.552 billion (USD $) and its subsidiaries (Interscope Records, Def Jam Recordings for example) are also very successful. Universal’s record label has signed to it, some of the most influential and popular music makers of this generation. This includes (to name but a few):

  • Taylor Swift
  • Lady Gaga
  • Jared Leto
  • Kanye West
  • Adele
  • Lil Wayne
  • Enrique Iglesias
  • Elton John
  • ABBA
  • Robbie Williams
  • Coldplay
  • Maroon 5
  • Lindsay Lohan
  • Will Smith

Previously Universal Group Music was the record label associated with Universal Pictures, the film production company. Its origins can be traced to the formation of the American branch of Decca Records in 1934. MCA Inc. merged with American Decca in 1962. The present organisation was formed when its parent company Seagram purchased PolyGram in May 1998 and merged it with Universal Music Group in early 1999. MCA Music Entertainment Group was renamed Universal Music Group.

With the 2004 acquisition of Universal Studios by General Electric and merging with GE’s NBC, Universal Music Group was placed under separate management from their name sake, Universal film studios. In 2006, the label became 100% owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi when Vivendi purchased the last 20% from Matsushita, the group’s sole owner from 1990 to 1995 and co-owner from 1995 to 2006. In 2007 , Vivendi completed its €1.63 billion ($2.4 billion) purchase of BMG Music Publishing, after receiving European Union regulatory approval, having announced the acquisition on September 6, 2006.

Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music Entertainment is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment
Industry Music and entertainment. It was founded in 1929, 87 years ago as American Record Corporation (ARC). Since then it changed in 1938 to  Columbia/CBS Records. Then in 1991 as Sony Music Entertainment and in 2004 once again as Sony BMG Music Entertainment. Finally the name of the organisation settled in 2008 as Sony Music Entertainment. Sony’s record label is an American based company, with its headquarters in New York. Its revenue was a staggering 4.89 billion (USD $) in 2014. Some of it’s artists include:

  • Beyoncé
  • Britney Spears
  • Micheal Jackson
  • Shakira
  • Alicia Keys
  • Céline Dion
  • Calvin Harris
  • Prince
  • Avril Lavigne
  • A$AP Rocky
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Oasis
  • Kings of Leon
  • J Cole


The record company was renamed Sony Music Entertainment (SME)  officially on January 1, 1991, fulfilling the terms set under the 1988 buyout with CBS. The CBS Associated label was renamed Epic Associated. Also in 1991, to replace the CBS label, Sony reintroduced the Columbia label worldwide, after it acquired the international rights to the trademark from EMI in 1990.

In 1995, Sony and Michael Jackson merged Sony’s music publishing operations with Jackson’s ATV Music to form Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Warner Music Group

Warner Music Group was founded in 1958, 58 years ago, under the same Warner Bros. Records. Created in the United States, the organisation’s headquarters are in New York City. The company’s CEO is Stephen Cooper. In 2013 their revenue was an incredible 2.87 billion (USD $). The record label was owned by Warner.Bros, who additionally are the infamous film production conglomerate. In 1967 in a joint venture, Warner Bros. and Seven Arts began to run the company. Then in 1969 in moved to Kinney National Company, back to Warner Communications in 1972 and was passed to Time Warner in 1990. It stayed with the conglomerate Time Warner until AOL took control in 2001. By 2004 it was an independent company before being bought by Access Industries who are owners today. Some of the artists signed to the record label are:

  • Madonna
  • Ed Sheeran
  • David Guetta
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Linkin Park
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Jason Derulo
  • Foreigner
  • Cher
  • Rita Ora
  • Enya
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Paramore
  • James Blunt
  • Jess Glynne

Research of Print Platforms

In this task I analysed different Print Platforms- Music Magazines. The magazines I chose were Q magazine, NME and Billboard. I chose to analyse these magazines because they are infamous in music publications. By analysing these magazines I will be able to gain an insight to what makes an effective album advert and gain a better understanding of where my own would be printed. Analysing these means that I understand what will entice readers to look at my album advert in more depth. I understood that a good advert will use an image which is of professional quality and this means that I would need to use the school’s media resources in order to create an appealing shot.


  • Founded: 1894 but started to begin covering the entertainment industry
  • Readers: 15.2 million unique visitors per month (including website)
  • Owners: Prometheus Global Media

Q Magazine

  • First issue: October 1986
  • Circulation (magazines): 44,050 weekly editions
  • Publisher: Bauer Media Group

NME Magazine

  • Circulation: 15,384 weekly editions
  • Founded: 1949
  • Owner/ Publisher: Time Inc. UK

Examples of adverts in Print Media