Jay-Z's Roc Nation Partners With Universal Music
“Jay-Z is back home.”
So touted an email announcing a new global partnership between Roc Nation, the full-service entertainment company founded by the rapper-turned-mogul, and Universal Music Group. Previously aligned with Sony Music, the multi-year deal is effective immediately.
Although financial terms were not disclosed, a release revealed that the Roc Nation music label will operate as a standalone label within the UMG family. As part of the agreement, forthcoming albums from Jay-Z, Rihanna and others will be sold worldwide via UMG.
Said UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, who in February was named Billboard’s most powerful person in music: “In just five years, Roc Nation has established itself as one of the most successful brands in music with a reputation for developing some of today¹s most influential and popular talent. Not only does this agreement provide a dynamic platform for Roc Nation’s exciting emerging artists, it extends our relationship with the extraordinary Rihanna and represents a homecoming for Jay-Z -- a brilliant artist and entrepreneur, who has been a creative cornerstone of our company.”
Jay-Z praised the executive for orchestrating “a new age deal -- being able to continue to operate as an independent label with the strength, power and reach of the best major. ... It feels good to be home.”
The rapper also recently announced a new partnership with CAA Sports, management company Roc Nation sports, which will represent athletes. Its first signing: the Yankees’ Robinson Cano. Recent additions to Roc Nation's music management roster include Kylie Minogue, Timbaland and M.I.A.
Universal Music Group is a fully owned subsidiary of Vivendi. Shares of the company were down a tenth of a percent to 16.21 EUR in early morning trading.