Universal Music Group is an American global music corporation that is a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG's global corporate headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. It is considered one of the "Big Three" record labels, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group.
Sony Music Entertainment is the second largest of the "Big Three" record companies in the world, behind Universal Music Group (UMG) and ahead of Warner Music Group (WMG). Sony's music publishing division is the world's largest music publisher after the acquisition of EMI.
WMG’s family of labels—including Atlantic Records Group, Warner Bros. Records Inc., and Parlophone—is among the most prominent and successful in the history of music, encompassing a global roster of acclaimed artists and an unparalleled catalog including many of the world's most popular and influential recordings.
To start, let's clarify something: This is not a definitive list of the best record labels of 2014, nor is it necessarily a list of our favorite record labels of 2014. This is a breakout list, a means to pay tribute to a collection of small labels that surprised us with their ability to consistently put out some of the most revelatory independent music of the year, and who we know have big plans for 2015.
Def Jam Recordings is an American record label focused predominantly on hip hop and urban music, owned by Universal Music Group (UMG). In the UK, the label takes on the name Def Jam UK and is operated through Virgin EMI Records, while in Japan, it is known as Def Jam Japan, operating through Universal Music Japan.
Geffen Records is an American major record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Interscope Geffen A&M Records imprint. On March 23, 2017, Billboard announced that Geffen was relaunching with longtime A&R Neil Jacobson as President, who reports to John Janick, CEO and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M.
Interscope Records is an American major record label. An imprint of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, its parent company is Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi SA. Interscope was founded in 1990 by Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field as a $20 million joint venture with Warner Music Group's Atlantic Records.
On April 1, 2014, Universal Music announced the disbandment of IDJMG, one of four operational umbrella groups within Universal Music. Effective as of the same day of the announcement, Island Records and Def Jam will now operate as autonomous record labels. In Germany, Island and Mercury merged to become divisions of the Island Mercury Label group.