National Geographic Broadens Music Initiative Considerably

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National Geographic is now broadening its music initiative considerably, and pushing into recording, publishing, television, touring, and digital arenas.

The fresh division, dubbed National Geographic Music and Radio, is launching with the support of distribution partners like Clear Channel, Salem Communications and NPR.  “National Geographic Music and Radio will engage listeners with great talk and sound, and also offer artists and experts who care about global culture and the environment an outlet to create awareness for important issues,” said Tim Kelly, president and chief executive of National Geographic Ventures.

The undertaking follows a move by National Geographic into digital music last summer, one that rallied a number of world music content distributors.  That offering, available at, is now part of a far broader push.  According to the team, Music and Radio will encompass music supervision for films and the National Geographic channel,  as well as a suite of internet radio stations.  It also involves live concerts, a record label, and the management of roughly 12,000 publishing assets.

The company also stressed that the initiative would help to address societal and environmental issues, and pointed to the support of concerned artists like Jack Johnson, Ben Harper and Peter Gabriel.   “Through our various units, we will be able to create an emotional connection for our listeners with the planet,” said David Beal, head of publishing, label and radio aspects.