THIS WEEK: Virgin gets back in record label groove with V2

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 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.



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