Question Marks Surround Fate of Geffen Records

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Amidst a broader staffing dial-down at Universal Music Group, sources are now raising questions about the future of Geffen Records.

The once-mighty label propelled groups like Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, and Sonic Youth, though its role within the larger Universal umbrella is allegedly being reanalyzed.

Sources to Digital Music News disclosed a number of details on Monday.  Layoffs at the unit are considered imminent, and likely by the end of the year.  And at least one has already exited from the larger Interscope Geffen A&M unit.

After the reductions, one source within the organization pointed to a shutdown, while another suggested a slightly different fate.  According to the source, the Geffen imprint would continue to be associated with certain artists and releases, but the real action would be happening elsewhere.  The transition would preserve the brand equity tied to Geffen, but strip most of the underlying functionality away.  “Geffen would be shuttered in the way that labels like that get shuttered,” the source shared.