Warner Music Latina and Viacom International Media Networks of the Americas (VIMN) have signed an exclusive distribution and expanded-rights partnership to develop the network’s roster of new music acts for the Latin market.
The deal calls for Warner to release, market and distribute all musical content by Viacom talent. Although the scope of the deal is global, the talent is Latin American or U.S. based.
The new deal, which goes into effect immediately, kicks off with Warner signing Nickelodeon Latin American star Isabella Castillo. The 18 year old is the star of popular music-themed teen series “Grachi,” which has been airing on Nickelodeon all across Latin America and the world since 2011 and has been seen by an estimated 27 million viewers in Latin America alone. The show’s third season kicked off March 4 and will also air in over 50 countries worldwide.
This marks the first time Viacom enters into an exclusive development deal with a label, said Marc Zimet, VP of Talent and Music for VIMN/The Americas.
“We never had any outlet for the music we had on the air,” said Zimet, noting that VIMN has made specific deals for specific show albums in the past. “But we’ve never been in the business of developing new talent.” Castillo, however, marked a turning point. Thanks to “Grachi,” she became a major star in Latin America, and VIMN was reluctant to simply let that go.
Developing talent, adds Zimet, “Is something I stated pushing for internally and I thought ‘Wow, here’s a star that wants to be a singer, and [my team and I] are music experts. Why not help her?”
Partnering with Warner was a natural, because the label was already distributing the “Grachi” soundtracks throughout Latin America. Thanks to the show, Castillo already had a following and had toured successfully in Argentina and in Mexico and Warner saw the potential to be exploited with the right promotion.
The next “Grachi” soundtrack, for example, will be Castillo’s full-length debut album, with the music used during the show’s third season, which comprises 50 episodes. The radio single, “Soñar no cuesta nada,” will be featured in the closing of each episode with images of the video. And VIMN will support the album release with a TV campaign in Latin America that will air on their key channels: MTV, Nickelodeon, MTV Hits and VH1 Brazil.
“We believe that when a true artist is exposed in all the right ways, you can have success all around,” says Gabriela Martinez, General Manager & VP of Marketing, Warner Music Latin America.