Venture will target one-off tracks.

Universal Music today (Jan. 23) unveiled the launch of Apollo, a new multi-territory label which intends to capitalize on one-off hits from across Europe.

The venture comprises two distinct units, Apollo Recordings and Apollo Digital. It has two label imprints, dance and urban label Apollo and Europop specialist Europa. While the imprints will target one-off tracks, executives admit its signings could evolve into album projects.

The initiative is a three-way joint venture between Island Universal U.K., Universal Music France and Universal Music Germany. The first record worked through the new project is Meck's “Thunder In My Heart Again,” which will be available simultaneously through physical and digital channels on Feb. 6 in those markets.

Commenting on the new initiative, announced at Midem, Universal Music Group International executive VP or marketing and A&R Max Hole says, “The forming of Apollo will enable us, for the first time, to really coordinate our activities internationally in the dance music arena.”

The project is the brainchild of Matt Jagger, until recently Mercury Records U.K executive VP, together with Universal Music U.K. divisional director of new media Rob Wells.

“We believe that with the advent of digital music platforms music will increasingly be sold track-by-track and we want to take advantage of that,” says Jagger, who is appointed managing director of Apollo.

Jagger has a broad background in dance music. Before joining Universal in Jan. 2003, he was chief executive of Ministry of Sound, the London-based independent dance music brand which combines a flagship club, record labels, tours and various multi-media activities.

Working alongside Jagger are A&R consultant James Goodhall, until recently consultant at UMTV; marketing manager Ewan Grant, who was previously MoS GM; and Dan Stevens, former A&R coordinator at Mercury who becomes new media/label manager.

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