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ESPN today announced that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with music distributor UnitedMasters, led by founder and music industry veteran Steve Stoute. The collaboration will expand ESPN’s growing reach to diverse audiences and relevance to sports fans through programming and promotional content.
“ESPN has always covered the intersection of sports and culture, and music plays a key role in that,” said Jimmy Pitaro, president, ESPN and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks. “We’re looking forward to strengthening that connection through this new collaboration with UnitedMasters, while at the same time giving up-and-coming artists a platform for national exposure to showcase their music to a broad, diverse and engaged audience of fans.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with ESPN. They have a massive platform with the potential to make a career-changing impact on up-and-coming, independent artists,” said Steve Stoute, Founder and CEO of UnitedMasters. “The UnitedMasters ‘Select’ roster will serve as an unparalleled library of new and untapped music, and we can’t wait to hear our artists on ESPN shows for years to come.”
Together with UnitedMasters, ESPN will curate music from the UnitedMasters “Select” artists to use within its sports programming and promotional content. This will give independent artists an opportunity to connect with fans and grow their audience through the vast reach and scale of ESPN across platforms, including SportsCenter, First Take, The Jump, and more.
“Select,” announced today by UnitedMasters, is a new subscription offering from the digital music distribution platform, providing artists with a suite of tools to operationalize independent success and the ability to retain 100% of their royalties.
Since its launch in 2017, UnitedMasters has seen its artist-first approach pick up steam launching the careers of chart toppers like platinum-selling rapper NLE Choppa, Billboard charting recording artist Lil Tecca, Lil XXEL, Future Kingz, and many more. In just 18 months, UM has amassed over 400k artists, 5 billion streams, and over half a million distributed tracks.
Launched in 2017 by Translation founder and music industry veteran Steve Stoute, UnitedMasters provides a new industry alternative for independent artists. UnitedMasters gives artists access to premium music distribution services, a suite of tools to help them directly connect with fans, and opportunities for unique partnerships with some of the world’s biggest brands. The UnitedMasters platform enables artists to operationalize their independence and maximize their creative and economic potential while allowing them to maintain full ownership over their master recording rights.