EmpireAs part of a new multi-year deal, San Francisco-based distributor Empire will provide ‘strategic distribution services’ to Universal’s labels and artists.

UMG says the move will ‘complement [our] existing global distribution network’.

Under the agreement, says the major, ‘UMG and Empire will work together on select artist projects from UMG’s labels that will benefit from Empire’s unique approach to distribution, digital sales, promotion and marketing’.

Founded in 2010 by entrepreneur Ghazi Shami, Empire has provided distribution, label services, and promotion for singles and albums by artists including Anderson .Paak, XXXTENTACION, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, DRAM, Fat Joe & Remy Ma, Migos, Shaggy, Snoop Dogg and many more.

Universal Music Group logo1As such, the distribution company is seen to be at the centre of not just the burgeoning US hip-hop market, but also a very close ally to independent artists.

Empire offers its top-tier artist partners country-wide radio and promotional support, in addition to A&R facilities and more standard services such as sync, media buying, analytics and royalty processing.

The company also has an enviable reputation when it comes to pitching in new hip-hop music to streaming playlists.

Empire’s clients include labels and artists, both developing and veteran stars, across hip hop, R&B, Latin, reggae, pop, rock, gospel, and country.