Universal Music Group

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Though the history of Universal Music Group N.V. dates as far back as the 1930s, the current group (UMG) was created with the acquisition of PolyGram by Universal on December 10, 1998. The name appeared two years before, when MCA Music Entertainment Group was renamed. From its inception until 2001, UMG was part of Universal Studios before Vivendi's acquisition of Universal in 2000 which was completed in 2001, that same year, Vivendi became Vivendi Universal. On May 11, 2004, Vivendi sold 80% of Universal along with USA Network, Sci-Fi (now Syfy) and Universal Parks & Resorts (now Universal Destinations & Experiences) to General Electric, the then-parent company of NBC which led to the formation of NBC Universal, Inc. (now NBCUniversal Media LLC) but retained Universal Music Group and Vivendi Universal Games (later Vivendi Games, now Activision Blizzard). Since that split in 2004, UMG is a separate entity and is part-owned by Vivendi SE, which also bought the BMG Music Publishing brand in 2007, and later some of the recorded music operations of EMI in 2012. In 2018, Tencent acquired a minority stake in UMG. In 2021, UMG officially split from Vivendi as the company went public and became a Dutch-owned music giant.

Labels under UMG consist of Republic Records, Island Records, Def Jam Recordings, Capitol Records, Motown, Virgin Records, Decca Records, Verve Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records and Deutsche Grammophon. Other divisions are either genre or foreign-based like UMG Latin Entertainment, UMG Christian, UMG Nashville, UMG UK, UMG Africa, UMG Asia or UMG Canada.

Universal Music Group

1st Logo (1998-2002)

Visuals: Same as the 1997 Universal Pictures logo, but when it's almost complete, "MUSIC" fades below (in the same font), and the silvery DVD Video logo underneath.

Technique: Same as the Universal Pictures logo.

Audio: Same as the Universal Pictures logo.

Availability: Can be found on older music DVDs of UMG artists.

2nd Logo (2002- )

Visuals: There is the end of the 1997 Universal Pictures logo (when the rotating letters settle down on the globe). Then, a flash occurs, creating rainbows that surround the Universal globe and go in all directions. The Universal globe becomes a CD, as the words "UNIVERSAL MUSIC" (in the same font as its standard counterpart) fly from the top to the inset of the logo. While this happens, the CD fades out while another flash occurs; this time, the flash is red, below the CD, and horizontal. The DVD logo appears after the flash.

Variants: A version with the "UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP" or "UNIVERSAL MUSIC BRASIL" below the Universal logo exists. In Acquaria, the DVD logo is removed.

Technique: CGI.


  • A majestic tune with synth-like sounds near the end, which was composed by Juanito Lopez (aka DJ Juanito).
  • The 1997 long version theme of Universal Television (composed by Jerry Goldsmith) with a whoosh sound. An abridged version of The Lost World: Jurassic Park version of the Universal Pictures fanfare is used in Acquaria.

Availability: It can be seen on quite a few music DVDs.

Universal Music Group HD

Logo (2006-)

Visuals: The sequence starts with the second half of the 1997 Universal Pictures logo, which adds "UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP" below. Then, a transparent HD flies and stops underneath, flashing and stretching into "HIGH DEFINITION" words over the globe.

Variant: An enhanced variant exsists. The star background is enhanced. Then once the logo finishes, the Universal globe transitions into a real globe, then zooms in to the sky.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Same as the first variant of the 2nd logo's music, but the thud sound is heard.

Availability: It can be seen on music Blu-rays released by Universal Music or its regional branches.

Uni Distribution Corp.
Universal Music Group
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