Illustration for article titled Universals New Startup Arm is Already Hunting for the Next Spotifyem/em

Music and technology working together for better future is a narrative that the music industry really enjoys telling itself. After the advent of Napster in the late ‘90s and the iTunes Music Store, major labels are now quick adapting to a world domianted by Apple Music and Spotify—but at least one of the major record labels is already eyeing the future.


Yesterday, Universal Music Group announced that the label will partner with as many as 10 existing startup accelerators around the globe, especially those with an eye toward creating new music platforms, and mentor a number of budding digital music companies in launching new products.

The label’s accelerator network, as Universal calls it, will help the search for the next Spotify or Soundcloud—hinting that major labels would rather see the future of music come from inside their own walls, rather than outside.


“We have to be a lot more proactive for conditions to exist out there where entrepreneurs and investors want to do amazing things in the music space,” Tuhin Roy, head of New Digital Business at Universal, told Mashable.

So far, Universal has announced the names of three accelerators it will work with: Axel Springer’s Plug and Play in Berlin, LeanSquare in Liège, Belgium, and NYC MediaLab. These accelerators now need to start looking for the startups with the next big idea in music technology. But this partnership continues the long tradition of major labels buying record stores and even investing in Spotify, in attempts to completely control the music ecosystem. Gotta love billion dollar companies.

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