Michelle Phan has had a rocky relationship with the music industry recently. The YouTube beauty super star was slammed with a lawsuit over the summer by Ultra Records, a dance music label which claimed that Phan had violated their copyright by using their music in many of her older videos. Earlier this month, Phan hit back at Ultra with a countersuit seeking to neutralize Ultra’s claims. Now she’s planning to take on the record industry in a different way: by joining it.
Michelle has teamed with music industry investors the Cutting Edge Group to form Shift Media Group. Shift will use Michelle’s huge social following to help break new artists and give musicians wider exposure using social media tools. Rather than relying on record labels, Shift will help artists to build and manage their own careers outside of the traditional music publisher system. It should be familiar territory for Michelle Phan who built her own media and cosmetics empire on YouTube outside of the mainstream.
The Shift Media Group will form another part of Phan’s growing media empire which already includes a line of cosmetics, a sponsorship arrangement with L’Oreal, and the FAWN lifestyle network she presides over with her YouTube channel at its heart. Given her recent clashes with record labels, the timing seems perfect for Michelle to launch a startup that aims to disrupt that industry and put more control back in the hands of creators. No word yet on which artists Shift will be launching, but with Michelle’s massive fanbase behind them we’re sure to hear plenty from them soon.