UMG inks Asia deal with Disney Music Group

Digital formats included in distribution deal

Universal is the Disney Music Group's new licensee for Asia, excluding Japan.

Under the terms of the agreement, announced Tuesday by Universal Music Group, UMG will market and distribute Disney product in both physical and digital formats in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, effective immediately. India will be included in the agreement, with effect from October.

The new deal follows a license pact Universal announced in March with Disney Music Group's Hollywood Records for the release of the Jonas Brothers' self-titled album in Europe.

"Disney artists and music create excitement wherever they go, and Asia is no exception," said UMG International Asia-Pacific region president Max Hole in a statement issued Tuesday. "We're pleased to partner with the Disney Music Group in Asia, and our team throughout the region is looking forward to spreading the excitement even farther."

David Agnew, president of Walt Disney Records and executive vp and GM of Disney Music Group, added, "We are pleased to expand our excellent business relationship with UMG into the Asian marketplace and feel confident that we will do great things together there."

Disney's previous licensee in the region was EMI. EMI is understood to retain the Disney catalog business in the U.K. and Europe, including the best-selling "High School Musical" albums, and other projects, including "Camp Rock." EMI continues to serve as licensee for Disney and Hollywood in Australia and New Zealand.

EMI also has a nonexclusive relationship with Hollywood Records for Europe, covering releases by Plain White T's and Jesse McCartney.

Christie Leo reported from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Lars Brandle reported from London.