Universal Music Group has signed a strategic partnership with Korean artist and music production company Play Cube Entertainment, in an effort to boost the Korean pop (K-Pop) business domestically and internationally.

The strategic alliance covers licensing and distribution rights to strengthen Universal Music Korea's presence in the domestic market, while increasing the exposure of Play Cube's K-Pop artists in regional and international markets.

The agreement commences with the release of an enhanced version of the EP, "For Muzik," by Play Cube's all-girl group 4Minute. The enhanced EP, in physical and digital formats, will be released this week in eight countries across South-East Asia, with Japan to follow soon.

Seoul-based Play Cube Entertainment was established by Monica Shin in 2006. Shin is co-CEO of the company with Simon Hong, who developed Rain and Wonder Girls into international stars during his tenure as CEO of JYP Entertainment. The Play Cube artist roster includes 4Minute, all-boy group Beast, plus soloists Eddie, Mario and Youngji.

"It's an exciting time for Play Cube's domestic K-Pop artists who, with Universal Music's strong marketing teams and wide-reaching distribution networks, will be exposed to new markets around Asia and the world," said Max Hole, president, Asia-Pacific Region, Universal Music Group International, in a statement. "We look forward to working with Monica and Simon, and making many hits together."

Monica Shin added: "This strategic alliance signifies the beginning of a totally new era in the K-Pop business. With our new partner Universal Music by our side, we can't wait to take our artists beyond the domestic market in Korea."

"As shown by the global phenomenon of Korean super-star Rain, K-Pop is a genre loved by fans all over the world," commented Beom-Joon Yang, managing director of Universal Music Korea. "There are so many more Korean stars still yet to break internationally."

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