Sony Music has launched the first major music label dedicated to nurturing lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered artists.

The label, to be known as ‘Music with a Twist’, is a joint venture with a new gay media company, Wilderness, led by Matt Farber, the founder of MTV’s gay entertainment channel, LOGO, which reaches 20 million homes across the USA.

‘Music With a Twist’ will collaborate with Sony’s other labels including Columbia Records Group, Epic Records, Sony Nashville and Sony Urban Music in order to cross promote gay artists with mainstream appeal.

The label is also expected to cash in on the growing themed compilations market with albums dedicated to hit songs embraced by gay audiences across America.

Wilderness will also launch the USA’s first syndicated gay radio programme, Twist, a two hour strand with music, celebrity interviews, entertainment reports and news.

“It’s an idea whose time has come,” Mr Farber told Reuters, referring to the expansion of gay-themed media properties.

“Only now are media and entertainment brands being created for the gay and lesbian audience following the success of brands for other minorities,” he said.

Last month, Benjamin Cohen, the founder of PinkNews.co.uk, announced that he was launching a network of online and offline media properties aimed at serving the British gay community.