Richard Branson's V2 Music is launching an initiative which endeavors to give pan-European marketing and distribution muscle to a string of independent labels.

Richard Branson's V2 Music is launching an initiative which endeavors to give pan-European marketing and distribution muscle to a string of independent labels.

The new label licensing venture, Co-operative Music, will provide international marketing and promotion services to a host of indies closely associated with V2.

Through the new venture, V2 provides back office services for such labels as Wichita Recordings, City Slang and Modular Recordings. V2 will also provide “substantial investment,” according to Vincent Clery-Melin, GM for Co-operative Music.

Co-operative Music label managers are being appointed in France, Germany, in Holland (for the Benelux region), Sweden (for Scandinavia), Italy and Spain. The executives will play a key role in working the independent labels' repertoire locally.

“The peculiarities of Co-operative are what sets us apart,” says Clery-Melin. “We guarantee in every deal with every label that we will release and work every record in every market.”

The venture's business plan was engineered by V2 Music France's Paris-based GM Alain Artaud together with Tony Harlow, V2 Music's Worldwide CEO. Artaud has overall responsibility for the network.

Former London-based EMI Music executive Clery-Melin will run its day-to-day operations from V2's premises in West London. Frenchman Clery-Melin was most recently VP marketing at EMI Music Continental Europe, and director of the company's alternative music division Labels Europe before that.

Initial releases under the new network include sets in the coming months from Mercury Prize-nominated Go! Team (Memphis Industries), Brooklyn trio Nada Surf and Nick Cave collaborators the Dirty Three (Bella Union).

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