Ministry of Sound, one of the U.K.’s biggest independent labels, has been acquired by the British arm of Sony Music.
The imprint was launched in 1993 as an extension of the influential London nightclub founded by James Palumbo. In the two decades since then it has grown to become one of the world’s biggest dance music labels with cumulative album sales in excess of 70 million, including 40 U.K. No. 1 albums and over 20 chart-topping singles.
As part of the Sony deal, the major acquires the label roster, back catalogue and hugely successful compilations business, which accounts for approximately one in every six compilation albums sold in the United Kingdom, with “The Annual,” Dance Nation” and “Clubbers’ Guide” among its biggest selling titles.
Acts currently signed to Ministry of Sound Recordings include DJ Fresh, Sigala (who is already licensed to Sony Music internationally) and London Grammer, whose debut album, If You Wait, sold more than 1.5 million copies globally and is signed to Sony’s Columbia label in North America. Other artists that Ministry of Sound has previously launched and develop include Eric Prydz, Example and Wretch 32.
“This agreement underscores our ongoing commitment to investing in great artistry and hit music,” said Doug Morris, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music Entertainment in a statement announcing the deal -- terms of which were not disclosed.
His words were echoed by Jason Iley, chairman and CEO, Sony Music UK, who called Ministry of Sound “one of the greatest brands in music.” Praising the track record of managing director David Dollimore and A&R director Dipesh Parmar, Iley went on to say the label’s achievements speak for itself and the “label will be another hugely exciting addition to Sony Music UK’s vision for the future.”
“I’m delighted we have found the right home to grow Ministry of Sound Recordings at a global level while keeping its unique identity,” added Lohan Presencer, Ministry of Sound Group chief executive. He called the major “a world-class company that understands our ethos of exceptional curation and developing young talent” with the “scale and strength within the industry to project our artists and music onto an even bigger platform.”