Ever since it launched, distributor and artist-services firm UnitedMasters has made brand partnerships a big part of its offering to artists. Now it is creating a new platform for that called The Independent(s) Exchange, which will help brands to team up with some of its 1.3 million artists.

Booze brand Diageo is the first partner to sign up, with UnitedMasters saying that the aim is partly to help brands to work with a more diverse slate of artists in their campaigns.

“Brands aren’t investing enough in Black media, and the creator economy is revealing obvious gaps in how diverse creators are being celebrated, monetised, and capitalised on for brand relationships,” said CEO Steve Stoute. “Artists’ ability to build wealth from their cultural influence has long been co-opted without investing in or crediting the original creators. It’s time for that to change.”

A couple of Diageo activations have already been announced: a ‘Who Made The Beat’ campaign to promote Crown Royal 18 whiskey, and a US artist contest backed by Bulleit Whiskey.

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