Electronic Arts to launch record label

US video games giant Electronic Arts is launching a music label, called Artwerk, marking another step in the games giant’s strategy of boosting revenue streams through music.

The new label is a joint venture with Canadian music company Nettwerk One Music.

Last month saw EA announce plans to launch a virtual world online based around music, following the acquisition of online karaoke portal SingShot (MW February 15), which is to be merged into the games company’s Sims division.

Artwerk will publish music from both unknown and established artists around the globe and will be based in Los Angeles. It will handle all publishing, recording and distribution for signed bands. Artists will also get to see their work featured in games titles across the publisher’s portfolio alongside the usual distribution deals.

Artwerk’s first signing is Junkie XL, who has previously produced songs for EA games Madden NFL ’07 and Need for Speed Carbon. Future artists who join will also produce music for EA games.

“For the past five years EA has been instrumental in creating new artists, but we have been limited in our ability to grow them,” says Steve Schur, worldwide executive of music and marketing at EA. “With Artwerk, we can now directly sign, develop and launch artists for publishing, master recordings, sync deals and beyond. With Nettwerk, we are once again partnered with the most visionary team in the industry.”

EA has worked with Nettwerk previously/ in November 2005 the two companies set up digital music distribution label EA Recordings. In 2004, it launched a joint venture with Cherry Lane Music, called Next Level Music.

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