Neon Gold Records Inks Multi-Year Virgin Music Group Distribution Deal Following Atlantic JV’s Conclusion

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Neon Gold Records founder Derek Davies, whose label has inked a distribution deal with Universal Music’s Virgin Music. Photo Credit: UMG

Following a decade-long partnership with Warner Music’s Atlantic Records, Neon Gold Records has inked a distribution tie-up with Universal Music’s Virgin Music Group (VMG).

The 15-year-old indie label and VMG unveiled their “global distribution agreement” via a formal release today. Billing itself as the career launchpad behind well-known artists such as Charli XCX and Tove Lo, Neon Gold has released multiple projects from the acts.

But between 2014 and this year’s beginning, Neon Gold releases were part of a JV deal involving the aforesaid Atlantic. Now, that collaboration is in the rearview – “previous successful joint ventures with…Atlantic (2014-2024),” the text noncommittally references – and the New York City-based label has finalized a “multi-year” agreement with the Saban Music Latin owner Virgin.

While the announcement doesn’t appear to mention areas beyond distribution, it does emphasize Neon Gold’s goal of building “on the creative freedom and personalized hands on attention” that it’s “become known for.” And the expansion will, of course, be “amplified by the robust global infrastructure and support of Virgin.”

On this front, Neon further revealed the signing of Phantogram and teased the announcement of “more marquee signings” for “the coming weeks.”

“We’re thrilled to embark on the next chapter of Neon Gold with Virgin Music Group,” Neon Gold founder Derek Davies elaborated. “The partnership allows us to maintain our independent spirit and artist-centric ethos, while benefiting from the scale, global infrastructure and team of Virgin Music Group.

“It’s the perfect combination to support our mission of delivering major results on independent terms for artists, carving out new lanes for our acts to have more control both creatively and commercially,” concluded the former Medallion president Davies.

And in remarks of her own, Jacqueline Saturn, VMG’s president of North America and EVP of global artist relations, touted the anticipated “next phase of Neon Gold.”

“As many independent labels dream to do,” the former Epic/Sony Music exec Saturn communicated in part, “Neon Gold has not only achieved commercial success, but they’ve developed into a trusted lifestyle brand that has become a mainstay definer of left-of-center pop music, and they continue to have a cultural impact.”

For the overarching Universal Music, the Neon Gold union represents the latest in a line of noteworthy 2024 distribution deals. On the year, the BMG-allied business has disclosed partnerships with Beijing’s TF Entertainment and BTS agency Hybe. The latter pact spans a decade and covers multiple areas, not solely distribution.