New UMG Deal with Songwriter’s Group Will Boost Royalty Compensation

Universal Publishing Production Music pic
Universal Publishing Production Music

A longtime executive within the music industry, Christopher Roberts formerly served as the president of Universal Music Group’s Classics and Jazz division. Christopher Roberts is credited with modernizing the division’s labels and helping to establish the company’s artist management and concert production divisions.

Recently, Universal Music’s Universal Publishing Production Music (UPPM) division debuted a newly signed agreement with SESAC that will increase royalty compensation for songwriters. The reason for the change is to streamline the royalty payment process, which has not kept pace with the volume of transactions. The new system will provide more accurate data that will enable money to be paid more quickly.

Affecting US-based royalties only, the agreement took effect April 1, 2016. It covers production music songs that were previously registered with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). The agreement does not impact a songwriter’s decision to remain a member of ASCAP. The new terms show that Universal Music is committed to maximizing revenues for writers and increasing creative opportunities as well.


Andrea Bocelli: A Legendary Crossover Artist

Andrea Bocelli pic
Andrea Bocelli

While serving as president of classical and jazz recording at Universal Music Group International, Christopher “Chris” Roberts made great strides in modernizing the culture of both genres. In addition to reinvigorating labels including Verve, Decca, and Deutsche Grammaphon, Christopher Roberts also helped to establish the careers of such prominent Universal Music recording artists as Andrea Bocelli.

Over the past 20 years, Andrea Bocelli has established a reputation as one of the most successful crossover artists of all time. The multi-platinum recording artist has risen to the top of the pop, classical, and opera genres with his diverse repertoire and mass musical appeal. Andrea Bocelli has earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for claiming the first, second, and third spots on America’s classical album charts, as well as a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

Formally trained in law, Bocelli began singing in piano bars in his native Italy before deciding to enter the newcomer competition at the 1994 San Remo Music Festival. After taking the top prize, he garnered further acclaim with his 1997 album Romanza. With over 20 million copies sold, the pop-influenced opera album remains the best-selling record by an Italian artist.

Two years later, Andrea Bocelli received a Best New Artist nomination at the 1999 Grammy Awards, becoming the first classical artist to receive such recognition in over three decades.

Bocelli’s extensive discography also includes Sacred Arias, a faith-inspired album that has sold over five million copies, and Concerto: One Night in Central Park, a live album. Featuring both famous opera compositions such as “La donna e mobile” and pop classics including “New York, New York” (performed as a duet with Tony Bennett), the album serves as a shining example of the diverse repertoire that has enabled Bocelli’s success as a crossover artist.

Decca Classics Signs Their First Recorder Artist, Lucie Horsch


Lucie Horsch pic
Lucie Horsch

Currently the president and CEO of Robisong Consulting in New York City, Christopher “Chris” Roberts is a pianist and composer who spent many years at Universal Music, the largest music company in the world. During his tenure at Universal Music, Christopher Roberts served as president of the classical and jazz music division of the company.

One of Universal’s classical labels, Decca Classics recently signed their first recorder artist, 16 year-old Lucie Horsch. The recorder is an instrument that’s often dismissed as only a learning instrument, but there are 500 possible fingering variations, and players can switch ranges from sopranino to alto immediately, indicating the great range of the instrument.

Many children are introduced to playing music through the recorder, including 20 percent of children in the UK. Horsch can thus serve an an ambassador to those children, revealing what could be possible on an instrument that appears so simple. Horsch, who has won the Concertgebouw Young Talent Award, is set to release her first album, which features the music of Vivaldi, in 2016.

Lewis and Clark College Among Colleges with Best Investment Return

Lewis and Clark College pic
Lewis and Clark College

The longest-serving president of Universal Music Group’s Classics and Jazz division, Christopher Roberts is credited with boosting sales through upgrading the look of the division’s recording labels. Before becoming a music industry executive, Christopher “Chris” Roberts graduated from Lewis & Clark College, where he earned undergraduate degrees in music history and German literature.

Lewis & Clark College has received several honors in the last two years, such as being named the most sustainability-minded college in the nation by the Princeton Review in 2015. In its newly released edition of Colleges That Pay You Back, Princeton Review also named Lewis & Clark among 200 national colleges that represent the best investments in education. In other words, the return on investment (ROI) for Lewis & Clark tuition is among the highest in the country.

In making the determination, the Princeton Review assessed (ROI) ratings for more than 600 schools. Data considered included cost, financial aid, student debt, graduation rates, alumni salaries, and surveys on alumni job satisfaction.

Universal Music Group Artists Take Home 16 AMA Awards

American Music Awards Image:
American Music Awards


Christopher Roberts serves as the president of Universal Music Group’s Classics and Jazz division. Credited with modernizing classics and jazz labels for the company, Christopher Roberts is a musical composer in addition to being a notable music industry leader.

Universal Music artists were widely recognized at the 2015 American Music Awards. Winners were announced on November 22 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Out of 23 total categories, artists with the Universal Music Group label landed 16 coveted awards.

Among these, Taylor Swift took home three awards, including Favorite Pop/Rock Album, Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist, and Song of the Year for “Blank Space.” Sam Hunt won in the category of New Artist of the Year, while Ariana Grande won for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. In the Country Music category, Luke Bryan won the award for Favorite Male Artist, while Florida Georgia Line won Favorite Country Album for its release Anything Goes.

Tracing the Journey of Decca Records

Decca Records pic
Decca Records

Christopher Roberts, the former president of Universal Music Group’s Classics & Jazz division, is an accomplished pianist, producer, and composer. Christopher Roberts’ leadership of Universal Music put him in charge of Decca Records, a subsidiary that had delivered classical music to people across the world for decades.

Decca was founded in Britain in 1929 by Edward Lewis. The name originated from a portable gramophone Lewis bought in 1929 and renamed Decca Gramophone. Lewis established the American wing of Decca in 1934. Eight years later, it was trading on the New York Stock Exchange. After World War II, Decca UK split from Decca US. The two wouldn’t come together again until years later.

In 1949, Decca made a breakthrough in the industry when it began selling long-playing records. At the time, most records only allowed users five minutes of continuous play. Decca’s LP allowed 30 minutes of uninterrupted play, however, in addition to superior sound quality. The records were a hit, catapulting Decca to the mainstream music club. By 1959, Decca had become so popular that it was bought out by Music Corporation of America, commonly known as MCA.

MCA changed its name to Universal Music Group in 1997. In 1998, Universal bought Decca UK’s parent company, PolyGram, putting Decca US and Decca UK under the same ownership.

Universal Music Group Partners with Marriott for SXSW Events

Universal Music Group pic
Universal Music Group

With one of the longest careers among music industry executives, Christopher Roberts served as the president of Universal Music Group’s (UMG) Classics and Jazz division. An accomplished pianist in addition to his role as a business leader, Christopher “Chris” Roberts helped to start Universal Music’s artist management and concert production divisions.

UMG partnered with the rewards program of Marriott International, Inc., to create a one-of-a-kind experience during the 2016 South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas. Taking advantage of several spots inside the large hotel, UMG organized daily live performances by artists, DJ sets, and other special events. Marriott Rewards members did not need SXSW tickets in order to enjoy the musical showcases within the hotel.

Several of UMG’s biggest new stars participated in the four days of performances at the hotel, including DNCE, Vince Staples, The Strumbellas, Grace Mitchell, and Kacy Hill. Special events include daily yoga sessions with a playlist curated by JMR.