Universal Music creates new role to boost digital strategy

LONDON - Universal Music, home to artists including the Scissor Sisters, is to boost its digital strategy with the creation of a new senior role, to be taken on by Rob Wells.

Wells is promoted to senior vice-president of digital at Universal Music Group International from his present job as director of the digital services division in the UK.

He will be responsible for directing and executing all aspects of Universal's digital strategy and reports to Max Hole, executive vice-president of marketing and A&R.

Universal has had four of the top-five bestselling digital albums this year, including the year's number one: 'Eyes Open' by Snow Patrol.

It was also the first major record label to offer its output to a new ad-funded legal music download service, called SpiralFrog.

The company also revealed today that it had signed a deal with YouTube that will let the video-sharing site show music clips from Universal artists legally. The deal will also allow YouTube users to incorporate Universal music into content that they produce and upload on the site. In return, YouTube will filter out content that is not authorised to appear on the site.

Wells said: "My upgrade is as exciting as it will be challenging. I'm looking forward to driving the international digital business forward for Universal Music, as well as unlocking the opportunities that the less digitally developed territories provide."

Universal Music Group International covers all of the companies markets outside of North America.

Last month, it signed a deal with the WPP Group to launch a 50:50 joint venture called BrandAmp, which will team its artists and music with the brands that WPP agencies work on.

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