Arts and Culture | Israel | National

Universal becomes first major music label to open a branch in Israel

(JTA) — Universal Music Group, one of the largest music corporations in the United States, has become the first major American music company to open a branch in Israel.

UMG Israel will be based in Tel Aviv and be led by Yoram Mokady, a lawyer with no experience in the music industry, Billboard reported Tuesday.

According to Billboard, major labels such as Universal, Sony Music and Warner have engaged in an international music “arms race,” branching out into several countries to develop and sign local talent.

The news comes days after it was announced that the 19-year-old pop star Noa Kirel signed a multimillion-dollar record deal with Atlantic Records — possibly the largest ever for an Israeli artist.

Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Lady Gaga are among the recording artists who have released music through labels owned by Universal.