Universal Music Group to Release DVD-Audio Titles

Universal Music Group has today announced plans to release DVD-Audio titles. Beginning with twenty U.S. releases slated for the second half of 2003, UMG, the world’s largest music company, plans an ongoing program to make a combination of best-selling artists and core catalogue titles available on DVD-Audio in major markets worldwide.

Most recordings will be re-mixed and re-mastered from the original multi-track masters to take advantage of the superior Advanced Resolution™ surround and stereo sound quality now possible with DVD-Audio. Many of UMG’s DVD-Audio discs will take advantage of the format’s ability to include bonus, enhanced content including photos, biographies, lyrics, discographies and videos. Like all DVD-Audio discs, Universal Music Group’s releases will also play on all existing DVD-Video players with the addition of backward-compatible Dolby Digital™ surround sound.

“Universal has always played a leading role in the development and implementation of new technologies and formats,” said Larry Kenswil, President, eLabs, Universal Music Group. “Over the past five years DVD has established itself as one of the fastest growing formats. The huge penetration of DVD makes DVD-Audio a natural progression for music lovers who are already owners of DVD players, taking them from the familiar world of stereo to the 21st Century world of multi-channel surround sound.”

Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in sixty-three countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Strategic Marketing and Commercial Affairs (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division.

Universal, currently supporting rival Super Audio CD with over thirty-six releases in that format to-date, has already experimented with the release of one DVD-Audio sampler disc entitled ‘Universal Music Group Presents DVD-Audio’, but the news of many forthcoming DVD-Audio releases has been welcomed by all concerned.