Scott Borchetta‘s Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) has acquired full-stake ownership in Republic Nashville, according to sources.
The deal comes as BMLG re-signs a distribution agreement with Universal Music Group, which reportedly gives the label group a lower distribution fee.
Led by label president Jimmy Harnen, Republic Nashville’s current roster includes Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry, Eli Young Band, Cassadee Pope and A Thousand Horses.
“Big Machine’s total industry market share including track equivalent albums is 1.7 percent year to date while [the] Valory imprint provides an additional 0.27 percent and now the Republic Nashville label adds another 0.37 percent for a total market share of 2.34 percent,” reports Ed Christman of Billboard.
Started in 2009 as the third imprint in Borchetta’s label group, Republic Nashville was created as a 50/50 partnership with New York’s Universal Republic President/CEO Monte Lipman. Republic Nashville launched with artists Sunny Sweeney and Fast Ryde, who have both since departed the company.
Big Machine and Republic first teamed in 2007 when Lipman’s staff helped cross Taylor Swift to Top 40 radio and beyond. That partnership continues to today, as Republic Records promotes Swift’s 1989 to pop radio.
Universal Republic also had a hand in Universal South, a company that eventually merged with Toby Keith‘s Show Dog in 2010 to become Show Dog-Universal. Keith’s label more recently became Show Dog Nashville and established closer ties to Universal Music Group Nashville. Keith was involved with Big Machine from the onset and remains a shareholder.
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