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By Billboard

The revamped strategy will place a heavier emphasis on giving students "actionable roles" in promoting the label's upcoming releases.

Universal Music Group (UMG) is rebranding its college lifestyle marketing program (formerly known as UMUSIC Experience) as °1824. The company announced the news Thursday (Oct. 17) at the Invitational, an annual meeting of the program’s U.S. team comprising 85 students and full-time employees.

“Our program has become a proven artist and career development platform,” said °1824 senior vp and head Todd Goodwin in a statement. “Over the last four years, we evolved as our capabilities outgrew those of traditional college programs. While career development, mentorship and job placement will continue to be central to our success, it became clear we needed to redesign our core program and, in turn, give our team an even larger platform to highlight their creativity by forming °1824.”

With the rebrand, additional emphasis will be placed on giving team members “actionable roles” on projects for UMG artists, including influencer outreach, local marketing, public relations, strategic partnerships, design and filmmaking. On the content-creation side, UMG notes the team has already been producing more than 40 projects a month, with recent projects including Beyond the Barricade -- a series that goes behind-the-scenes as artists prep for performances; Chop It Up, a series featuring interviews with artists flying in a helicopter over New York City; the music video for the single “Make You Mine" from Island Records pop-rock trio PUBLIC; and a short documentary around Yungblud’s performance at the last Warped Tour.

In addition, °1824 will produce more than 100 events annually, including speaking engagements, experiential activations, screenings and HBCU homecoming events, among others.

The °1824 rebrand follows a recent resurgence in the music industry’s college-rep programs, which retracted in the 2000s following a historic slump in record sales. With the industry now rebounding in the wake of the streaming boom, companies like UMG and Sony Music are beginning to put more muscle behind them.

Since launching in 2015, UMUSIC Experience has placed 50 team members in full-time positions at UMG, with dozens more being hired at other music companies.


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