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News March 17, 2022

Mushroom Group partners with Universal’s Virgin Music, taps Korda Marshall to co-lead new global venture

Senior Journalist, B2B
Mushroom Group partners with Universal’s Virgin Music, taps Korda Marshall to co-lead new global venture

Mushroom Group is planting seeds around the globe, through an alliance with Virgin Music Label & Artist Services.

The independent music powerhouse today (March 17) unveils a “multi-layered” global partnership, through which Virgin Music will support and distribute Mushroom artists’ releases for the world outside of Australia and New Zealand.

Virgin Music is no minor-league enterprise.

Universal Music Group launched the global distribution and services division in February 2021, with an MO to partner with and service innovative independent artists and labels from around the world.

The following month, in March 2021, Virgin Music announced its Australian venture.

“Mushroom has been a market leader for decades in Australia and today we take another huge step in building Mushroom into a truly global brand,” comments Mushroom’s Chief Executive Matt Gudinski.

“Our A&R staff are world class and we, together with Virgin/UMG, are going to break artists from any part of the globe to every part of the globe.”

Matt Gudinski

The partnership is notable for many reasons.

Here, the great Australian indie forms an alliance with Universal Music Group, the biggest music company on the planet, connecting the group build by the legendary, late Michael Gudinski, along with the leading music executive on the planet, Lucian Grainge.

And, as part of the new arrangement, Korda Marshall, a long-standing, U.K.-based member of the extended Mushroom Group family, is elevated to a new role with the company.

For the music community, the alliance holds the promise of pushing homegrown artists out onto the world stage, both through Virgin Music, and, potentially, the UMG mothership. 

“This global alliance between Mushroom and Virgin Music, marks the beginning of a new collaboration between two historically entrepreneurial companies that have both introduced countless superstar artists and helped shape and influence independent music for decades,” comments Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Matt Gudinski, who is honoring his father’s great legacy by bringing Mushroom to new heights, and with Korda who has been a force in the U.K. creative community for decades.”

Lucian Grainge

With this new deal, London-based Korda Marshall is named International Director, co-leading the partnership with Mushroom Label and Publishing’s COO Chris Maund.

Marshall, a renowned music executive in the U.K. with leadership jobs in both the major label and indie worlds, served as Managing Director at Mushroom Records prior to its sale to News Corp in 1998.

Along the way, he’s been instrumental in career of Muse, Garbage, Ash, Paul Oakenfold, The Darkness and many more.

Now, he moves from BMG, the German-based music company which acquired Infectious Records in 2014, and had international success stories with alt-J, DMA’S, Bloc Party, Ry-X, Richard Ashcroft, The Temper Trap, and more.

The Virgin Music network is propelled by staffed, regional hubs which combine UMG’s technology platforms, specialist local networks and expertise with the music giant’s global strength and reach.

Through this new pact, VLMAS will provide bespoke global promotion, marketing and audience label services to Mushroom’s existing U.S. and U.K. infrastructure.

Also, there’s the opportunity for selected Mushroom releases to be pushed through UMG’s major label network, when agreed upon by both sides.

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