Virgin is planning to go back to its roots with the launch of a new
record label, four years after it sold Virgin Music Group to Thorn EMI.
Virgin chairman Richard Branson hopes to have V2 Records, running by the
end of the year and plans to use the recently-announced V96 music
festival as a launch pad. Branson said Virgin staff were already working
full time on the project.
The move sees the mushrooming company come full circle, returning to the
business which put it on the map in the 70s and 80s with artists
including Mike Oldfield, Culture Club and Phil Collins. Branson has said
in the past that he regretted selling the label, which he viewed as the
jewel in his business crown.
The Virgin chief said the label will retain many of the progressive
qualities of its predecessor, but will benefit from cross-marketing with
other brands in the group - most notably Virgin Radio and Virgin
Megastores. The label will not be able to use Virgin’s name or logo, but
the link with V96 indicates the ‘V’ will form part of its branding.
The success of Virgin Airlines is one factor Branson said will underpin
the launch of V2. ‘Last time the label went to support the airline, this
time the airline will support the label,’ he said, recalling the pounds
560m sale of Virgin Music Group in 1992.