UMG Nashville Incoming CEO Promises to ‘Dramatically Expand’ Partnerships with Independent Labels

UMG Nashville CEO Cindy Mabe promises to expand independent label partnerships
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UMG Nashville CEO Cindy Mabe promises to expand independent label partnerships
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Photo Credit: Kevin Wimpy

Incoming UMG Nashville CEO Cindy Mabe says she is looking to ‘dramatically expand’ partnerships with independent labels. Here’s the latest. 

Mabe assumed her role as Chair & CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville on April 1. She comes to the position after Mike Dungan retired at the end of March after more than a decade in the position. One of her first moves as CEO was to share her vision for UMG Nashville with the rest of her team. In a memo to staff, Mabe lays out four goals:

  • Sign outstanding country music artists
  • Dramatically expanding partnerships with independent labels and entrepreneurs
  • Broadening UMG Nashville’s scope to include film & TV
  • Collaborating with label colleagues around the globe

Cindy Mabe became Nashville’s highest-ranking woman label executive in 2014, when she was appointed UMG Nashville President. Now she is the first woman to serve as Chair & CEO of a Nashville-based major label group. “Country is—and will remain—a genre of deep roots grounded in great storytelling and truth that incorporates creative influences across music styles and genres and fans everywhere have shown us they are open to what our evolving genre has to offer,” Mabe says in her memo. 

“We will dramatically expand our partnerships with independent labels and entrepreneurs,” she continues. “The marketplace is in flux with innovation. Inspiration and new ideas are coming from everywhere. Much of that innovation is coming from the independent sector, but by the same token there is so much more they could do if they partnered with us in key areas. Universal Nashville will actively take a role to position ourselves as the best partners to expand their growth and help develop and support these artists.”

“Third, we will broaden our storytelling to include film and TV. While we are the leaders in recorded music, I want us also to lead in the music-based film and TV space. Our artists’ stories are powerful and not linear, and so the means of telling their stories should have a wide reach. This means growing our presence in audiovisual to develop our Country culture and our artists’ stories in film and television.”

You can read the full memo here.