Universal Music Group has announced that it is opening a branch in Tel Aviv, making it the first major American music label to do so. Another branch is opening in Morocco.

“As part of our global commitment to discover and support music talent around the world, we are excited to launch our new standalone UMG operations within the MiddleEast and North Africa, in order to accelerate our ability to support local artistry and talent in Israel, Morocco and surrounding countries,” says Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development at Universal Music Group.

“Our intention is to provide real support, infrastructure and people on the ground in each country, helping the entire regional music ecosystem grow, and giving local artists the best opportunity to reach new audiences around the world,” he added.

Universal’s Israel branch will be headed by media business executive Yoram Mokady, formerly of Israeli cable provider HOT Telecommunications.

Mokady said the Universal branch “will provide a welcome boost for the entire Israeli artist community” and will strengthen the wider Israeli music ecosystem.

“As the first major global music company in-market, UMG will look to identify, sign and develop the best domestic artist talent, whilst working closely with partners, technology companies and local startups to create innovative campaigns and projects to help UMG artists to reach the widest possible audience worldwide,” he noted.

This latest news from the music industry follows on the footsteps of last week’s announcement that local pop singer Noa Kirel signed a multimillion deal with another major US music label, Atlantic Records.