Tencent has bought $200m stakes in Warner Music Group

On Friday it emerged that Chinese tech giant Tencent had bought a chunk of shares in Warner Music Group… but confusion reigned over exactly how much it had invested. The Wall Street Journal claimed it was $200m, while MBW said it was around $100m. As it turned out, both were right. Tencent Music Entertainment, the music streaming […]

WMG share price leaps on first day of public trading

Warner Music Group had a good first day of trading following its IPO this week. The company priced its shares at $25, valuing the major label group at $12.75bn. By the end of the day, WMG’s share price had risen to $30.86, sending its valuation to around $15.36bn. The IPO is being watched closely by […]

Warner Music Group delayed IPO share-pricing until today

Last week, Warner Music Group filed to go public in its IPO: you can read our analysis of the filing’s juicier bits here. According to the Financial Times, WMG was planning to announce the pricing for its shares in the IPO yesterday – which would in turn reveal the valuation of the company – but decided to […]

WMG approved for Nasdaq IPO listing as financials announced

Warner Music Group announced its latest quarterly financial results yesterday, but in the earnings call, CEO Steve Cooper kept his cards close to his chest regarding the label’s upcoming IPO. “The current market conditions are obvious, so our board and management will continue to monitor the situation,” Cooper told analysts. However, there was some news later: “We have […]

Warner Music Group opens its live vaults for PlayOn Fest

This weekend (24-26 April), Warner Music Group is hosting the virtual PlayOn Fest where listeners can “relive epic performances one time only”. Over the three days, past shows from a huge range of acts, among them Coldplay, Green Day and Janelle Monáe (we only picked these three as they rhyme, but there are MANY more) will be […]

Spotify and WMG seal their deal – including ‘additional markets’

The coronavirus pandemic appeared to have put the long-running soap opera of Spotify’s licensing renewals with major labels on hiatus. Now it’s returning: with concrete progress. “Warner Music Group and Spotify are pleased to announce a renewed global licensing partnership. This expanded deal covers countries where Spotify is available today, as well as additional markets,” […]

Warner Music Group appoints its first senior privacy counsel

Here’s an interesting job title for a major label: senior privacy counsel. Warner Music Group has just created the role, and appointed Clare McConnell to it, reporting in to WMG’s general counsel, international, Kate Logan. “Clare is an online privacy expert and specialist in compliance with data privacy legislation in the US, Europe and beyond,” […]

WMG pushes back at reports that Stormzy triggered Ben Cook resignation

You’ve likely read the news earlier this week that Atlantic Records UK president Ben Cook was stepping down, as the result of an incident seven years ago when he went to a party dressed as a member of Run DMC. Cook was disciplined for the incident last year, but has only now stepped down, which […]

WMG boss: streaming isn’t the only reason for industry growth

Warner Music Group published its latest quarterly financials yesterday, with its revenues up 10.4% year-on-year to $1.06bn, including 12.5% growth in its digital revenue to $648m – 61.2% of the total. Within that, WMG’s recorded-music revenue grew by 13.8% to $913m, but its publishing revenue actually fell by 7.5% to $147m – “lower market share and loss […]

Sandbox issue 232: Music Marketing in Trigger Cities

Lead: This issue we have a special extended feature looking into the phenomenon of Trigger Cities. These are places outside of the obvious music markets that are now – due to streaming and how algorithms are fed – playing a key role in helping break artists and genres. This represents a whole new dynamic for […]

The latest new music label is… Build-A-Bear Records?

We don’t get to report on stuffed-animal announcements very often in Music Ally’s bulletin, but today we bring you news that retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop is launching its own record label. Build-A-Bear Records is the result of a partnership with Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division and its Warner Chappell publishing arm. The plan is to […]

AI-music startup Endel releases five new ‘Relax’ albums

Earlier this year, AI-music startup Endel revealed plans to release AI-generated albums through a distribution deal with Warner Music Group. And it definitely *is* a distribution deal: headlines about Endel becoming the first AI to ‘sign to a label’ were wide of the mark. Five albums came out earlier this year: ‘Clear Night’, ‘Rainy Night’, ‘Cloudy Afternoon’, […]

Oana Ruxandra to be WMG biz-dev lead as Ron Wilcox leaves

Oana Ruxandra will be Warner Music Group’s new lead of business development for recorded music, reporting directly in to CEO Steve Cooper. “A talented negotiator and collaborative leader, Oana has a first-class strategic brain and keen sense of how to get deals done swiftly and effectively,” wrote Cooper in an email to colleagues. “Oana, along […]

WMG sees streaming push up recorded numbers but publishing slips

Warner Music Group has published its numbers for the fiscal second quarter (ending 31st March 2019) and the headlines are that total revenue across all parts of the business was up 13.2% and that it saw net income of $67m compared to a net loss of $1m in the same period last year. Digital was, […]

Warner Music leads funding round for hardware startup Artiphon

Artiphon is one of the startups exploring the potential to create new musical instruments with a digital twist. It raised $1.3m in a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2015 to make its first device, the Instrument 1.The $399 device is a MIDI controller designed to work like a guitar, piano and/or drum machine. A few years on, […]

Endel has a distribution partnership with WMG, not a ‘deal’

The news that a series of albums generated by the technology of startup Endel are being released through Warner Music is spreading far and wide. There are some clarifications being made about how the relationship has been presented, though. It’s not a ‘record deal’, for example: it’s a distribution partnership. Journalist Cherie Hu has done some […]

Holly Herndon sees Endel AI label-deal as a ‘warning shot’

We reported last week on startup Endel’s announcement that its music-creating AI had signed a major-label deal with WMG. As the news spread, some artists have been having their day, including electronica artist Holly Herndon. “Well that escalated quickly, although it seems like this is simply a repackaging of procedural generation composition systems that have […]

Scott Cohen confirmed as new ‘chief innovation officer’ for WMG

The news had already leaked that The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen had been poached by Warner Music Group, but there has been speculation about what, exactly, his role would entail. Yesterday, WMG dished the details: Cohen will be its new chief innovation officer, recorded music, reporting directly to the label group’s recorded-music boss Max Lousada. […]

Publishing body ICMP backs WMG over Spotify India dispute

Spotify is live in India, but its dispute with Warner Music Group continues, over the way it sought a statutory licence for works owned (partially or wholly) by publisher Warner/Chappell. Now the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP) has weighed in to the row, firmly on the side of Warner/Chappell. “Music publishers worldwide work in […]

Former Sony exec Michael Lynton joins board of WMG

Warner Music Group is making some interesting appointments at the moment. We reported on its hiring of The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen earlier this week. Now WMG has appointed former Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton as non-executive chairman of its board. He’ll combine the job with his current role as chairman of Snapchat’s parent company […]

The Orchard co-founder Scott Cohen to join Warner Music

Earlier this month, distributor The Orchard’s co-founder Scott Cohen announced that he was ‘retiring’. It seems that this will involve very little golf, gardening and/or complaining about the buses though. He’s been hired for an as-yet undisclosed role at Warner Music Group, working on what MBW describes as ‘innovation’ (as opposed to working for WMG’s in-house equivalents […]

Major label WMG now has… a president of independent music?

It may raise a few eyebrows to learn that major-label Warner Music Group now has an executive role whose title includes ‘president of independent music’. Actually, it’s not a surprise: the company’s new president of independent music and creator services is Eliah Seton, who’s been promoted from his previous position as president of ADA Worldwide, […]

WMG doubles down on Turkey with Doğan Group partnership

Warner Music Group’s latest partnership is with Doğan Group in Turkey: owner of the country’s biggest independent label, and also of online-video channel NetD. The deal will see Doğan Music Company (the label) distribute WMG’s physical catalogue in Turkey, as well as “represent its repertoire to Turkish-owned digital music platforms”. That will also see the […]

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