As Latin music’s commercial performance continues to improve both domestically and abroad, Universal Music’s Virgin Music Group (VMG) has acquired five-year-old Saban Music Latin.
The latest in a series of high-profile 2024 plays for Universal Music Group (UMG), the Saban Music Latin buyout emerged today in a formal release from Virgin Music Group (which itself launched in September of 2022).
Previously, January of 2020 had seen UMG and the overarching Saban Music Group – also founded in 2019 by Saban Capital Group head (and UMG director) Haim Saban – ink a “worldwide marketing and distribution alliance.”
In the corresponding announcement message, the companies emphasized that Haim Saban had put up a “$500 million commitment” to bankroll Saban Music Group’s operations and expansion initiatives. The website for Saban Music Latin, sabanmusic.com, didn’t appear to be live at the time of this writing.
In any event, UMG has built upon the 2020 pact to scoop up the entirety of Saban Music Latin, with VMG assuming ownership of the operation’s catalog. Included in the latter are works from Jesus Mendoza, German Montero, Michael Stuart, and Fuerza De Tijuana, to name some.
Additionally, VMG is poised to “release future albums by selected” artists signed to the just-bought label. While the involved businesses didn’t directly identify each of the acts who will make the cut, they did emphasize that Saban Music Latin’s “roster of leading artists” includes Pitbull collaborator Chesca, Bogotá-born Loyal Lobos, and YoGambii.
Virgin, which partnered with Position Music in September, took the opportunity to tout its buildout efforts in the Latin space – besides driving home a commitment “to further expanding the reach and success of Latin Music globally.”
Bigger picture, other industry companies are, of course, looking to cash in on Latin’s initially mentioned (streaming-dominant) growth as well.
Related highlights from 2023 include Hybe’s Exile Music purchase and Live Nation’s deal for a majority interest in Colombia’s Páramo Presenta. Plus, December saw MediaNet Partners tee up a $20 million investment in Latin music catalogs, and Reservoir in October acquired the IP of veteran Latin songwriter and producer Rudy Perez.
Lastly, regarding the aforesaid moves Universal Music’s made as of late, the Big Three label only recently expanded its tie-up with Tencent Music – before today announcing the acquisition of Oriental Star Agencies’ catalog.