V2 Records
USINFO | 2013-11-29 18:15

V2 Records (or V2 Music) is a record label that was purchased by Universal Music Group in 2007 and by PIAS Recordings in 2013.

The label was founded in 1996 by Richard Branson, five years after he sold Virgin Records to EMI. The label was owned 95% by Morgan Stanley, the chief financier of the company, and 5% by Branson. Over the years V2 acquired Gee Street Records, Junior Boy's Own, Blue Dog Records, and Big Cat Records. The label also distributed many labels, such as Wichita, Luaka Bop, City Slang and Modular.

V2 now operates in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States. It was distributed in the US by BMG; however it left for WEA shortly after the formation of Sony BMG. Its headquarters were located at 14 East 4th Street in Manhattan, the former US home of Island Records, which was in the same building as the former Greenwich Village branch of Tower Records.

In April 2005, Cooperative Music was set up by the V2 Music Group as a transnational marketing and distribution operation which licenses independent labels, as opposed to individual artist companies which is the standard industry practice, for release in Europe, Australia and Japan. This in-house licensing division has an exclusive international marketing team with representation in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia and Japan.

In 2006 Branson sold V2 North America to Sheridan Square Entertainment LLC (SSE) for $15 million. SSE then merged its label Artemis Records into V2 North America. The new label was effectively divested from the Virgin Group.

In May 2006, much of V2's catalogue, including multi-platinum artists Moby and The White Stripes, was added to eMusic, making the label one of the most high-profile featured on the online music site, which mostly sells DRM-free independent music at a cost considerably lower than many of its competitors.

On 12 January 2007, V2 North America announced that it was undergoing restructuring to focus on its back catalogue and digital distribution. As a result, their employees were let go and their roster of artists left as free agents.

V2 Benelux was founded by Richard Branson in 1997 as part of the V2 International group with affiliates in USA, UK, Scandinavia, Germany, France, Italy and Benelux. In February 2007 the directors of V2 Benelux, Chris Boog and Tom Willinck, rounded off a successful management buy out together with their distributor, Bertus Distribution.

In August 2007, V2 Music Group was sold for £7 million to Universal Music Group. Subsequently in October 2007, UMG partnered the US operations of its independent distribution arm Fontana Distribution, known as Fontana International, with London-based Cooperative Music of V2 Music. The intent was to enhance expansion through international agreements, and so independent labels from Europe under Cooperative Music would gain access to the independent American marketplace through Fontana International's diverse connections in independent marketing, promotion and distribution support. Cooperative Music is now an established label group headed up by Vincent Clery-Melin, with both UK and International marketing teams. Cooperative Music has had significant success with various acts such as Fleet Foxes, Phoenix and The Black Keys.

In 2009, the newly-formed IndieBlu Music Holdings LLC acquired SSE's business, including V2 North America, in a UCC foreclosure auction. IndieBlu was acquired by Entertainment One in 2010. V2 North America is therefore owned and distributed by E1, and is no longer affiliated with its former parent label.

In early 2013, PIAS Entertainment Group acquired V2 Records and Cooperative Music from Universal Music Group, as part of UMG's divestments following its purchase of EMI the previous year.

Current & past artists
12 Girls Band
12 Rods
Acoustic Ladyland
The Adored
Alkaline Trio
A.M. Sixty
Amusement Parks on Fire
At the Drive-In
Brendan Benson
Best Fwends
Better Than Ezra
The Black Crowes
The Black Keys
Bloc Party
The Blood Brothers
Blood Meridian
Blood Red Shoes
Ane Brun
Carla Bruni
Burning Brides
Isobel Campbell
Cold War Kids
The Cribs
The Crocketts
The Crystal Method
Ray Davies
The Datsuns
N'Dea Davenport
Dogs Die In Hot Cars
Doug E. Fresh
Duke Special
Jesse James Dupree 
Every Move a Picture
Mary Fahl
The Greenhornes
Paul Hardcastle
Maximilian Hecker
The High Llamas
Hundred Reasons
Michael Hutchence
The Jesus and Mary Chain
Tom Jones
Jungle Brothers
Kings of Infinite Space
Ed Kowalczyk
Mark Lanegan
Langhorne Slim
Lethal Bizzle
Liberty X
Lori Lieberman
Little Man Tate
Kirsty MacColl
Aimee Mann
Margot and the Nuclear So and So's
Mark Foggo's Skasters
Tom McRae
The Meligrove Band
Mercury Rev
The Mooney Suzuki 
Jean-Louis Murat
Nada Surf
New Kingdom
Declan O'Rourke
Over It
P.M. Dawn
Polar Bear
The Raconteurs
The Rakes
Ra Ra Riot
Regular Fries
Josh Ritter
Roman Candle
Katy Rose
Nitin Sawhney
Paul Sherry
Alice Temple
Those Bastard Souls
Tin Star
Toots & the Maytals
Tragedy Khadafi
The White Stripes
Vitamin C

©2012-2014 Bywoon | Bywoon