Universal Music’s latest global-expansion move is focusing on south-east Asia, with the launch of two new label divisions in the region. Def Jam South East Asia will focus on hip-hop, while Astralwerks Asia will be more about electronic music – both matching their western parents. What’s more, Universal is also launching south-east Asian versions of its Ingrooves and Spinnup marketing and distribution services, to scoop up more independent artists in the ‘SEA’ region. All this, around the official opening of UMG’s new regional HQ in Singapore, and the promise by its EVP of market development Adam Granite (in a keynote at the All That Matters conference) that the label group is doubling down on the region. “One that reaches almost 700 million people and where music is increasingly driven by a young, social and mobile-driven audience. An audience that will only continue to grow as better data affordability, connectivity and smartphone access continues to improve,” as he put it. “Together, we will work to create further opportunities for artists from the region to break through on both a regional and a global level.” South-East Asia, remember, is a key region for the ‘trigger cities’ theory outlined by analytics firm Chartmetric earlier this year: Jakarta, Quezon City, Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are among the cities that the company believed could ‘trigger’ global, viral popularity for emerging artists.

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