Salsa icon Marc Anthony is taking a cue from Jay Z and other music moguls and launching his own company, Magnus Media, which describes itself as “a diversified entertainment company focused on developing new ventures that bridge content creation and commerce.”
The company is based in Miami and is a partnership between Anthony and Michel Vega, a veteran agent and former head of Latin music at William Morris Endeavor. Vega now serves as chief executive officer of Magnus Media LLC, which seeks to invest in artist and content development while establishing links with global brands. The latter is of particular interest to Anthony, who seeks to go beyond the traditional endorsement deal with this venture.
“Magnus is a company that is long overdue,” said Anthony in a statement. “It’s simple, really. Latino artists are among some of the world’s biggest brands. Unfortunately though, many of my colleagues, and new artists coming up, too, haven’t had the support to turn that influence into long-term businesses that build value. We’re going to change the game, and have a lot of fun doing it.”
The fact that it is created, owned, and run by a Latin artist and focused specifically in the Latino market ostensibly makes it one of the first companies of its kind launched in the post digital revolution, with the closest counterpart in the general market being Jay Z’s Roc Nation.
As for why Anthony is equipped to pull it off, Magnus CEO Michel Vega tells Billboard, “Marc has had an incredible career as a music superstar and obviously is still going strong, but there’s so much more he brings to the table beyond that. He’s a prolific actor who’s been directed by Martin Scorsese and has been on Broadway. He’s got a very acute marketing sense, and with respect to artists, we’re going to be able to tap into his A&R sensibilities. He’s going to be very involved in the process of guiding the artists from that point of view.”
Magnus has announced several divisions, including artist management, music publishing, a music label, digital content creation, film and television — and what they are dubbing “an entertainment-centric marketing practice focused on leveraging the power of top Latino content creators in the U.S. and worldwide.”
Though the company’s focus will be Latino artists — both established and developing — Vega says it is also “very interested in the YouTube and Vine space” and developing content creators from those platforms that don’t necessarily fall under music.
“The prototypical artist and content creator for us is someone who has a creative ability and a desire to be prolific across the board in different media,” said Vega, adding that “the time is right because the digital revolution has changed everything. Now the consumers are empowered and the content creators have amazing tools that were never available before. The content creator has a direct relationship with fans and with some guidance and some infrastructure in today’s world, with today’s technology, the sky’s the limit.”
One area Magnus isn’t looking to jump into is the streaming business — at least not initially. Says Vega, “Streaming is definitely the wave of the future, but right now we’re taking a step back and analyzing what’s going on in the marketplace and then we’re going to figure out what the best solution is.”
When asked about its film and television arm, Vega says the company will go beyond licensing and also look to create fresh programming.
Will they be the ones to give us the next success story in the vein of Jane The Virgin or Empire? That remains to be seen, but Vega isn’t shutting out any possibilities. “I don’t think anything is crazy right now,” he says. “There is a lot of excitement and there are some amazing ideas that we’re exploring. The great thing is that we’re not opposed to any great idea.”
Announcements are expected to be made soon with regard to Magnus’ artist roster, as well as brand partnerships in hospitality, sports, and telecommunications.