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Universal Music Group and its affiliated publishing entity, Universal Music Publishing Group, have entered into a unique strategic collaboration with, a music focused Multi-Channel Network (MCN) co-founded by industry mavericks, including AR Rahman, Shekhar Kapur and veteran digital professional Samir Bangara.

This marks the first ever association between a music company (UMG), a music publisher (UMPG) and a Multi-Channel Network (MCN), all of which are entities that are affiliated with and manage multiple artist channels on YouTube.

Emerging as a game changer in the digital music space, the alliance will bring on board renowned and established names from the Indian music industry whilst also promoting and developing upcoming independent musicians. Via this partnership, artists will now be able to sing cover versions of songs from the world’s largest catalogue of music, across genres and also monetise content, thus created. In addition, Qyuki and Universal will jointly develop new music-based content formats.

The three will scout and promote independent songwriters and artists and help them develop their careers by producing videos, building fan following and optimising their online video presence on YouTube and other digital video platforms. The partnership also promises to cross barriers, revamping existing content and create new opportunities for musical talent.

The alliance, which is already operational, launched its first initiative, called “The Sofa” – a live Google hangout, which gives fans an exclusive opportunity to interact with their favourite music stars and gain insights into their world of music. The Sofa was launched with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, wherein the singer interacted with fans on his latest album, ‘Back 2 Love’, and his upcoming projects. Another initiative that has been launched aimed at breathing new life into the devotional music genre, through the creation of lyrical audio visual videos, rendered by some the finest artists of the Indian music industry.

Speaking on the association, Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director, Universal Music/ EMI Music, South Asia said, “We at Universal have always been pioneers in the global music scene and our partnership with Qyuki stands testimony to this. Our objective through this alliance is to create new digital monetisation avenues of existing content libraries and also provide access to a vast pool of curated artists from the Qyuki network.”

Commenting on this partnership, Samir Bangara, Co-Founder and MD, said, “The Qyuki-Universal tie-up is a game changer for the digital music scenario in India providing independent artists a democratic platform with tools and infrastructure to break out into the mainstream. We are going through the most exciting phase this industry has seen and we are proud to be the catalysts for change.”

In regards to this strategic alliance, Achille Forler, Managing Director of Universal Music Publishing Group said, “This strategic creative alliance between three companies creates a global platform for Indian talent and is testimony that the music business, which is undergoing change beyond recognition, keeps its focus on discovering, nurturing and promoting new talent while generating revenue for the established authors and composers.”


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