Disney Music Group
|Type||Division of Walt Disney Studios|
|Industry||Music, music publishing|
|Headquarters||Burbank, California, U.S.|
|Key people||Ken Bunt, President|
|Products||Music albums, records, music videos|
|Parent||The Walt Disney Studios
(The Walt Disney Company)
|Divisions||Walt Disney Records
Disney Music Publishing
Disney Music Group (DMG) is the music production arm of The Walt Disney Company. The division consists of two affiliated record labels—Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records—and Disney Music Publishing, the publishing entity that administers the company's music. The president of the group is Ken Bunt, who reports to Alan F. Horn, the chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.
In April 1947, Disney formed the Walt Disney Music Company to publish and license Disney songs. In 1956, the Walt Disney Music Company's Disneyland Records label was founded on the strength of Fess Parker's hit recording of the Ballad of Davy Crockett which was licensed to Columbia Records. The Disneyland label issued its first album, A Child's Garden of Verses.
Buena Vista Music Group
The group was founded as the Buena Vista Music Group in 1998, consisting of Walt Disney Records, Hollywood Records, Buena Vista Records and later adding Lyric Street and Mammoth Records. In September 2005, BVMG signed with EMI for distribution of its album in United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East replacing Warner Music Group. In November 2006, Disney Music Publishing and Warner/Chappell Music Inc. agreed to a licensing agreement for Europe and South America major markets.  In 2006, BVMG launched a concert production arm, Buena Vista Concerts starting with The Cheetah Girls: The Party’s Just Begun Tour and High School Musical: The Concert.
Disney Music Group
In April 2007, Disney decided to semi-retire the Buena Vista brand from the group's name. Lyric Street launched a subsidiary label, Carolwood Records, in October 2008 which was soon shuttered in November 2009. On April 14, 2010, Disney Music Group announced the closure of the Lyric Street label with some bands transferred to other branches of Disney Music Group and others dropped altogether.
- Walt Disney Records, the flagship label of the group, was founded in 1956 as Disneyland Records, so that Disney would not have to release through third-party labels not associated with the studio, such as RCA Victor or Capitol Records, which had issued Disney albums in the past. Under the Disneyland label, among its other recordings, the studio also released new soundtrack LP's of some of the animated Disney films, including, a 3-LP album set In monophonic sound of all of the classical music heard in Fantasia, perhaps the first soundtrack album containing virtually all the music from a feature-length film. (The "Meet the Soundtrack" intermission segment and the jam session were not included, and Deems Taylor's commentary was also omitted.) Disneyland Records released cover versions (rather than soundtracks) of the songs from some of the other animated films, such as Lady and the Tramp. In 1989, the label was renamed to its current branding and now releases a broad range of Disney-branded music, such as soundtracks to Walt Disney Pictures' films, original studio albums from Disney Channel artists, and compilations albums by Radio Disney.
- Hollywood Records, primarily focuses on pop, rock, alternative and country genres, as well as select soundtracks from Marvel Studios, in conjunction with Marvel Music. Originally, the label was primarily a soundtrack label for non-Disney branded releases by Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures, with few major artists, like Queen. The label now releases music from a variety of major artists such as: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Plain White T's, Redlight King, ZZ Ward, and Bridgit Mendler. A sub-label, DMG Nashville, was formed in 2013 to specialize in country music. The genre label was originally founded to provide music licensing for Bigger Picture Music Group. After Bigger Picture's closure in 2014, DMG Nashville released its first studio album; Lucy Hale's Road Between.
- Disney Music Publishing, controls the publishing rights to music from Disney's film, television, theater and theme park divisions. Ancillary entities include Walt Disney Music Company, Wonderland Music Company, Seven Peaks Music, Seven Summits Music, Five Hundred South Songs, Fuzzy Muppet Songs, Mad Muppet Melodies, Marvel Comics Music, Marvel Superheroes Music, Bantha Music, Buena Vista Music Company, Touchstone Pictures Music & Songs, Hollywood Pictures Music, HolPic Music, Agarita Music, FFM Publishing, F T S Music, Saban Music U.S.A., ABC Family Music, Falferious Music, and Balanga Music.
- Buena Vista Records, a label founded in 1959 largely devoted to authentic soundtrack albums of mostly live-action Disney film musicals, such as Mary Poppins, The Happiest Millionaire, Summer Magic, and Babes in Toyland, as well as recordings by actors then under contract to Disney, such as Annette Funicello and Hayley Mills. Often, at the same time that Buena Vista Records released a genuine soundtrack album of one of the Disney movies, Disneyland Records, another, less expensive Disney label, would release a cover version of the songs from that film. Buena Vista Records also operates as an imprint of Walt Disney Records and most recently has been employed to serve as a pseudonym for certain releases by Walt Disney Records such as the more adult-oriented Almost Alice, as well as releasing traditional albums for Walt Disney Records adult artists such as Billy Ray Cyrus and Nathan Pacheco.
- Lyric Street Records, was an American record label specializing in country music. President Randy Goodman, formerly a general manager for RCA Records, founded the label in 1997. Among its first artists were Lari White, John Berry, Aaron Tippin, SHeDAISY and extremely popular Rascal Flatts. The label launched a short-lived subsidiary label, Carolwood Records, in October 2008. In April 2010 the label was folded into Hollywood Records.
- Mammoth Records, the formerly independent record label was founded by Jay Faires in 1989. In 1993 it became part of a joint venture with WEA-owned Atlantic Records but hit the market again in 1997, when it was bought by the then Buena Vista Music Group, up until which it was based in North Carolina. It had a very successful alternative artist roster including acts such as Antenna, Blake Babies, Chainsaw Kittens, Dash Rip Rock, Dillon Fence, Frente!, Fun-Da-Mental, Fu Manchu, Jason & the Scorchers, Joe Henry, Juliana Hatfield, Kill Creek, Machines of Loving Grace, the Bats, the Melvins, My Friend Steve, Seven Mary Three, Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Sidewinders, Vanilla Trainwreck, and Victoria Williams. In 2003, the label was folded into Hollywood Records.
Originally, Disney Music Group did not have its own distribution network, either in its native market of the US or internationally. It had a licensing deal with Warner Music Group from 1995 to 2005. Furthermore, Sony Music Entertainment was also a distributor of Hollywood Records' releases in mainland Asia. After the agreement with Warner expired, Disney engaged in distribution negotiations with other third-party companies.
In 2005, Disney relied mainly on Universal Music Group and EMI Music, given the territory. UMG's Universal Music Distribution was responsible for distribution in the United States, Canada, India and other territories across North America, South America and Asia (excluding Japan, where Avex Group handled distribution since 1999). Meanwhile, EMI conducted distribution in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and several other territories across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In both agreements, Disney handled its own marketing and other similar functions.
In September 2012, Universal Music Group acquired EMI and initially pledged not to renew EMI's European distribution license with Disney. However, in March 2013, Disney Music Group renegotiated their agreement with Universal Music Group, in which distribution and marketing rights were expanded on a worldwide basis, as a method of incuring collaboration between Disney's record labels and artists with Universal's production department. This allows DMG access to Universal's large roster of award-winning music producers and songwriters. In return, UMG now will have access to Disney's extensive marketing entities (including ABC, Radio Disney, Disney Channel, ABC Radio etc.) Russian distribution, as of November 2013, was assumed by Warner Music.
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