Universal Music Latin has inked a multi-year partnership with Los Angeles-based music and media company MPM Productions. The first artist signed under the deal is Mexican urban act Juan De Dios Pantoja, better known as JD Pantoja, a YouTuber-turned-recording artist.
Pantoja’s single “El Error,” has garnered over 50 million views since its release in May.
MPM, co-founded in 2016 by Arizona State University alums Eric O’Connor, Dimitri Hurt and Luis Arellano, started out as a company that represented YouTubers. Eventually, says Arellano, president of MPM Latin, “we shifted our business strategy to focus on creating our own intellectual property. That’s why we proposed making music to our talent.”
Their first artist to sign to a label was DDG, a hip-hop act who signed with Epic. The company also represents social media personality Flight, whose YouTube channel, NotYourAverageFlight has 2.23 million subscribers. With Pantoja, whose YouTube channel has 9.5 million subscribers, MPM aimed for the Latin marketplace.
“Many YouTubers do music, but few are accepted by the industry and the fans,” says Arellano. “One thing is to identify talent, and another is to have multi-hyphen talent: influencers who can develop as credible artists and be seen as such. There’s a lot of work to do.”
Pantoja, for example, recorded with several urban acts last year, including Lary Over and Ovy On The Drums. And in April, he released “Mi Plan,” featuring Noriel.
“We’re proud to say that our artists are paving the way for this business model to be successful,” adds Arellano. “These guys have shown a proven track record of not only finding these successful acts early on but also sticking with them to develop them and provide them with the strategy and resources they need to succeed and be great artists,” says Victor Gonzalez, president of UMLE. “UMLE is happy to be in business with MPM.”