Warner Music Group

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Warner Music Group_table_infobox_0

Warner Music Group Corp.Warner Music Group_table_caption_0
FormerlyWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_0_0 Warner Music Group_cell_0_0_1
TypeWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_1_0 PublicWarner Music Group_cell_0_1_1
Traded asWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_2_0 NASDAQ:Warner Music Group_cell_0_2_1
IndustryWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_3_0 Music

EntertainmentWarner Music Group_cell_0_3_1

FoundedWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_4_0 1958; 62 years ago (1958)Warner Music Group_cell_0_4_1
FounderWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_5_0 Warner Bros.Warner Music Group_cell_0_5_1
HeadquartersWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_6_0 New York City, New York, United StatesWarner Music Group_cell_0_6_1
Area servedWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_7_0 WorldwideWarner Music Group_cell_0_7_1
Key peopleWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_8_0 Michael Lynton

(Chairman) Len Blavatnik (Vice Chairman) Stephen Cooper (CEO)Warner Music Group_cell_0_8_1

RevenueWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_9_0 US$4.475 billion (2019)Warner Music Group_cell_0_9_1
Operating incomeWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_10_0 US$356 million (2019)Warner Music Group_cell_0_10_1
Net incomeWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_11_0 US$258 million (2019)Warner Music Group_cell_0_11_1
Total assetsWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_12_0 US$6.017 billion (2019)Warner Music Group_cell_0_12_1
Total equityWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_13_0 -US$269 million (2019)Warner Music Group_cell_0_13_1
OwnersWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_14_0 PriorWarner Music Group_cell_0_14_1
Number of employeesWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_15_0 4,520 (2017)Warner Music Group_cell_0_15_1
DivisionsWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_16_0 Warner Music Group_cell_0_16_1
SubsidiariesWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_17_0 Uproxx

Gold Typhoon Songkick EMP MerchandisingWarner Music Group_cell_0_17_1

WebsiteWarner Music Group_header_cell_0_18_0 Warner Music Group_cell_0_18_1

Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG) is an American multinational entertainment and record label conglomerate headquartered in New York City. Warner Music Group_sentence_0

It is one of the "big three" recording companies and the third largest in the global music industry, after Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME). Warner Music Group_sentence_1

Formerly part of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia), WMG was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange from 2005 until 2011, when it announced its privatization and sale to Access Industries. Warner Music Group_sentence_2

It later had its second IPO on Nasdaq in 2020, once again becoming a public company. Warner Music Group_sentence_3

With a multibillion-dollar annual turnover, WMG employs more than 3,500 people and has operations in more than 50 countries throughout the world. Warner Music Group_sentence_4

The company owns and operates some of the largest and most successful labels in the world, including Elektra Records, Warner Records, Parlophone Records, and Atlantic Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_5

WMG also owns Warner Chappell Music, one of the world's largest music publishers. Warner Music Group_sentence_6

Since August 2, 2018, WMG has expanded its business to digital media operation through its acquisition of Uproxx. Warner Music Group_sentence_7

History Warner Music Group_section_0

1950s and 1960s Warner Music Group_section_1

The film studio Warner Bros. had no record label division at the time one of its contracted actors, Tab Hunter, scored a No. Warner Music Group_sentence_8 1 hit song in 1957 for Dot Records, a division of rival Paramount Pictures. Warner Music Group_sentence_9

In order to prevent any repetition of its actors recording for rival companies, and to also capitalize on the music business, Warner Bros. Records was created in 1958. Warner Music Group_sentence_10

In 1963, Warner purchased Reprise Records, which had been founded by Frank Sinatra three years earlier so that he could have more creative control over his recordings. Warner Music Group_sentence_11

With the Reprise acquisition, Warner gained the services of Mo Ostin, who was mainly responsible for the success of Warner/Reprise. Warner Music Group_sentence_12

After Warner Bros. was sold to Seven Arts Productions in 1967 (forming Warner Bros.-Seven Arts), it purchased Atlantic Records, founded in 1947 and WMG's oldest label (until WMG completed its acquisition of Parlophone in 2013), as well as its subsidiary Atco Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_13

This acquisition brought Neil Young into the company fold, initially as a member of Buffalo Springfield. Warner Music Group_sentence_14

Young became one of Warner's longest-established artists, recording both as a solo artist and with groups under the Warner-owned Atlantic, Atco, and Reprise labels, as well as making five albums for Geffen Records during that label's period of Warner distribution. Warner Music Group_sentence_15

The Geffen catalogue, now owned by Universal Music Group, represents Young's only major recordings not under WMG ownership. Warner Music Group_sentence_16

Atlantic, its subsidiary Atco Records, and its affiliate Stax Records paved the way for Warner's rise to industry prominence. Warner Music Group_sentence_17

The purchase brought in Atlantic's lucrative back-catalogue, which included classic recordings by Ray Charles, the Drifters, the Coasters, and many more. Warner Music Group_sentence_18

In the mid 1960s, Atlantic/Stax had released a string of landmark soul music recordings by artists including Booker T & the MGs, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Ben E. King, and Aretha Franklin. Warner Music Group_sentence_19

But the sale led to Stax leaving the Atlantic fold because the new Warner owners insisted on keeping the rights to Stax recordings. Warner Music Group_sentence_20

However, Atlantic also moved decisively into rock and pop in the late 1960s and 1970s, signing major British and American acts including Led Zeppelin, Cream, Crosby Stills & Nash, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Average White Band, Dr John, King Crimson, Bette Midler, Roxy Music, and Foreigner. Warner Music Group_sentence_21

In 1969, two years after being purchased by Seven Arts, the Warner Bros.-Seven Arts company was sold to the Kinney National Company. Warner Music Group_sentence_22

In mid-1972, Kinney Music Of Canada, Ltd. was renamed as WEA Music of Canada, Ltd. a.k.a. WEA Musique du Canada, Ltée in French as the new Canadian branch of the WEA (Warner, Elektra, Atlantic) company - a division of Warner Communications Inc. Warner Music Group_sentence_23

The Founder and President Ken Middleton ran the Canadian Company until his retirement in 1982. Warner Music Group_sentence_24

The name remained until 1989, when in 1990, it became Warner Music Canada Ltd - a subsidiary of the US-based Warner Music International. Warner Music Group_sentence_25

Kinney CEO Steve Ross led the group through its most successful period until his death in 1992. Warner Music Group_sentence_26

An earlier attempt by Warner Bros. Records to create an in-house distribution arm in 1958 didn't materialize. Warner Music Group_sentence_27

So in 1969, Elektra Records boss Jac Holzman approached Atlantic's Jerry Wexler with the idea of setting up a joint distribution network for Warner, Elektra, and Atlantic. Warner Music Group_sentence_28

An experimental branch was established in Southern California as a possible prototype for an expanded operation. Warner Music Group_sentence_29

Atlantic exerts autonomy Warner Music Group_section_2

It was soon apparent in 1969 that Atlantic/Atco president Ahmet Ertegun viewed Warner/Reprise president Mike Maitland as a rival. Warner Music Group_sentence_30

Maitland believed that, as vice-president in charge of the Warner Bros.-Seven Arts music division, he should have final say over all recording operations, and he further angered Ertegun by proposing that most of Atlantic's back-office functions (such as marketing and distribution) be combined with the existing departments at Warner/Reprise. Warner Music Group_sentence_31

In retrospect Ertegun clearly feared that Maitland would ultimately have more power than him, and so he moved rapidly to secure his own position and remove Maitland. Warner Music Group_sentence_32

Maitland had put off renegotiating the contracts of Joe Smith and Mo Ostin, the presidents of the Warner Bros. and Reprise labels, and this provided Ertegun with an effective means of undermining Maitland. Warner Music Group_sentence_33

When Wexler—now a major shareholder—found out about the contract issue he and Ertegun began pressuring Eliot Hyman to get Smith and Ostin under contract, ostensibly because they were worried that the two executives might move to rival labels—and in fact Ostin had received overtures from both the MGM and ABC labels. Warner Music Group_sentence_34

In 1969, the wisdom of Hyman's investments was proved when Kinney National Company purchased Warner Bros.-Seven Arts for $400 million, more than eight times what Hyman had paid for Warner/Reprise and Atlantic combined. Warner Music Group_sentence_35

From the base of his family's funeral parlour business, Kinney president Steve Ross had rapidly built the Kinney company into a profitable conglomerate with interests that included comic publishing, the Ashley-Famous talent agency, parking lots and cleaning services. Warner Music Group_sentence_36

Following the takeover, Warners' music group briefly adopted the 'umbrella' name Kinney Music, because U.S. anti-trust laws at the time prevented the three labels from trading as one. Warner Music Group_sentence_37

Ross was primarily focused on rebuilding the company's ailing movie division and was happy to defer to the advice of the managers of the company's record labels, since he knew that they were generating most of the group's profits. Warner Music Group_sentence_38

Ertegun's campaign against Maitland began in earnest that summer. Warner Music Group_sentence_39

Atlantic had agreed to help Warner Bros. in its efforts to establish its labels overseas, beginning with its soon-to-be-established Warner Bros. subsidiary in Australia, but when Warner executive Phil Rose arrived in Australia, he discovered that just one week earlier Atlantic had signed a new four-year distribution deal with a rival local label, Festival Records (owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Limited). Warner Music Group_sentence_40

Mike Maitland complained bitterly to Kinney executive Ted Ashley, but to no avail – by this time Ertegun was poised to make his move against Maitland. Warner Music Group_sentence_41

As he had with Hyman, Ertegun urged Steve Ross to extend Mo Ostin and Joe Smith's contracts, a recommendation Ross was happy to accept. Warner Music Group_sentence_42

Ostin however had received overtures from other companies including MGM Records and ABC Records and when he met with Ertegun in January 1970 and was offered Maitland's job, he was unwilling to re-sign immediately. Warner Music Group_sentence_43

In response, Ertegun broadly hinted that Maitland's days were numbered and that he, Ertegun, was about to take over the recording division. Warner Music Group_sentence_44

Unlike the Warner/Reprise executives, Atlantic's execs the Ertegun brothers (Ahmet and Neshui) and Wexler owned stock in Kinney. Warner Music Group_sentence_45

Ostin was understandably concerned that, if he accepted the position, the Warner Bros. staff would feel that he had stabbed Maitland in the back, but his attorney convinced him that Maitland's departure was inevitable, regardless of whether or not he accepted the post (succinctly advising him, "Don't be a schmuck"). Warner Music Group_sentence_46

On Sunday January 25, Ted Ashley went to Maitland's house to tell him he had been dismissed, and Maitland declined the offer of a job at the movie studio. Warner Music Group_sentence_47

One week later, Mo Ostin was named as the new President of Warner Bros. Records, with Joe Smith as his Executive Vice-President. Warner Music Group_sentence_48

Ertegun nominally remained the head of Atlantic, but since both Ostin and Smith owed their new positions to him, Ertegun was now the de facto head of the Warner music division. Warner Music Group_sentence_49

Ertegun was given the formal title of executive vice-president-Music Group. Warner Music Group_sentence_50

Maitland moved to MCA Records later that year and successfully consolidated MCA's labels, which he couldn't do at Warner. Warner Music Group_sentence_51

1970s Warner Music Group_section_3

During the 1970s, the Kinney group built up a commanding position in the music industry. Warner Music Group_sentence_52

In 1970, Kinney bought Elektra Records and its sister label Nonesuch Records (founded by Jac Holzman in 1950) for $10 million, bringing in leading rock acts, including the Doors, Tim Buckley, and Love, and its historically significant folk archive, along with the successful budget Western classical-music label Nonesuch Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_53

The purchase of Elektra-Nonesuch brought a rich back catalogue of folk music as well as the renowned Nonesuch catalogue of classical and world music. Warner Music Group_sentence_54

Elektra founder Jac Holzman ran the label under Warners for two years, but by that time, he was by his own admission "burnt out" after twenty years in the business. Warner Music Group_sentence_55

Kinney president Steve Ross subsequently appointed Holzman as part of a seven-person "brains trust" tasked with investigating opportunities presented by new technologies, a role Holzman was eager to accept. Warner Music Group_sentence_56

The same year, the group established its first overseas offices in Canada and Australia. Warner Music Group_sentence_57

By that time the "Seven Arts" moniker was dropped from the Warner Bros. name. Warner Music Group_sentence_58

Warner Bros. also founded the Casablanca Records subsidiary, headed by Neil Bogart; but several years later Casablanca became independent of Warner Bros. Warner Music Group_sentence_59

Worldwide distribution Warner Music Group_section_4

With the Elektra acquisition, the next step was forming an in-house distribution arm for the co-owned labels. Warner Music Group_sentence_60

By this time, Warner-Reprise's frustrations with its current distributors had reached breaking point; Joe Smith (then Executive Vice-President of Warner Bros.) recalled that the Grateful Dead were becoming a major act but the distributor was constantly out of stock of their albums. Warner Music Group_sentence_61

These circumstances facilitated the full establishment of the group's in-house distribution arm, initially called Kinney Record Group International. Warner Music Group_sentence_62

By late 1972, US anti-trust laws had changed and the company was renamed Warner-Elektra-Atlantic, WEA for short, which was renamed Warner Music in 1991 (the word "group" was added after the formation of AOL Time Warner in 2001). Warner Music Group_sentence_63

WEA was an early champion of heavy metal rock music. Warner Music Group_sentence_64

Several such bands, including three major British pioneers Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, were all signed to WEA's labels, at least in the United States. Warner Music Group_sentence_65

Among the earliest American metal acts to be signed to WEA were Alice Cooper, Montrose, and Van Halen. Warner Music Group_sentence_66

Up to this point the Kinney-owned record companies had relied on licensing deals with overseas record labels to manufacture, distribute and promote its products in other countries; concurrent with the establishment of its new distribution arm, the company now began establishing subsidiaries in the other major markets, beginning with the creation of Warner Bros. Records Australia in 1970, soon followed by branch offices in the UK, Europe and Japan. Warner Music Group_sentence_67

In July 1971, the new in-house distribution company was incorporated as Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Distributing Corp. (WEA) and branch offices were established in eight major US cities; Joel Friedman a one-time Billboard writer who had been the head of Warner's advertising/merchandising division in its early years, was appointed to head WEA's US domestic division, and Ahmet Ertegun's brother Nesuhi was appointed to oversee its international operations. Warner Music Group_sentence_68

Neshui Ertegun, originally a Turkish native like his brother, displayed a global perspective and independence from its U.S. counterpart by successfully promoting international acts in their target markets worldwide. Warner Music Group_sentence_69

Ertegun headed WEA International until his retirement in 1987. Warner Music Group_sentence_70

A de facto committee of three senior marketing executives—Dave Glew from Atlantic, Ed Rosenblatt from Warner Bros. and Mel Posner from Elektra—oversaw the integration of each label's marketing and distribution through the new division, but each label continued to operate totally independently in A&R matters and also applied their own expertise in marketing and advertising. Warner Music Group_sentence_71

On July 1, 1971, following the pattern set by similar joint ventures in Canada and Australia, the Warner labels entered into a partnership with the British arm of CBS Records to press and distribute Warner-Reprise product in the United Kingdom, although this was undertaken as a cooperative venture rather than a formally incorporated business partnership. Warner Music Group_sentence_72

The Billboard article that reported the new arrangement also noted that, despite their intense competition in the US market, CBS continued to press Warner-Reprise recordings in the US. Warner Music Group_sentence_73

However the new UK arrangement was a major blow to Warner's previous British manufacturer Pye Records, for whom Warner-Reprise had been their largest account. Warner Music Group_sentence_74

With the scheduled addition of the UK rights to the Atlantic catalogue, which would revert to Kinney in early 1972, Billboard predicted that the Warner-CBS partnership would have a 25–30% share of the UK music market. Warner Music Group_sentence_75

In April 1971, thanks mainly to the influence of Ahmet Ertegun, the Kinney group announced a major coup with its acquisition of the worldwide rights to the Rolling Stones' new label Rolling Stones Records, following the expiration of the band's contract with British Decca (then separate from the American label) and the acrimonious end to their business relationship with their former manager Allen Klein. Warner Music Group_sentence_76

Under the terms of the deal, Atlantic subsidiary Atco would distribute the Stones' recordings in the US, with other territories mainly handled by Warner Bros. international divisions. Warner Music Group_sentence_77

One of Kinney's wisest investments was Fleetwood Mac. Warner Music Group_sentence_78

The band signed to Reprise in the early 1970s after relocating to the US and the label supported them through numerous lineup changes and several lean years during which the band's records sold relatively poorly, although they remained a popular concert attraction. Warner Music Group_sentence_79

Ironically, after their transfer to Warner Bros. in 1975 and the recruitment of new members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, the group scored a major international hit with the single "Rhiannon" and consolidated with the best selling albums Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and Tusk. Warner Music Group_sentence_80

Warner Communications Warner Music Group_section_5

Due to a financial scandal involving price fixing in its parking operations, Kinney National spun off its non-entertainment assets in 1972 (as National Kinney Corporation) and changed its name to Warner Communications Inc.. Warner Music Group_sentence_81

In 1972, the Warner group acquired another rich prize, David Geffen's Asylum Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_82

The $7 million purchase brought in several acts which proved crucial to the Warner group's subsequent success, including Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell and later Warren Zevon. Warner Music Group_sentence_83

On the downside, however, it was rumored that Warners was soon concerned about their possible liability under the California State Labor Code because of Geffen's questionable status as both the manager of most of the Asylum acts and the head of the record label to which they were signed. Warner Music Group_sentence_84

The sale included the Asylum Records label and its recordings, as well as Geffen's lucrative music publishing assets and the interests in the royalties of some of the artists managed by Geffen and partner Elliot Roberts. Warner Music Group_sentence_85

Geffen accepted a five-year contract with WCI and turned over his 75% share in the Geffen-Roberts management company to Roberts and Warners paid Geffen and Roberts 121,952 common shares worth $4,750,000 at the time of the sale, plus $400,000 in cash and a further $1.6 million in promissory notes convertible to common stock. Warner Music Group_sentence_86

Although it seemed a lucrative deal at the time, Geffen soon had reason to regret it. Warner Music Group_sentence_87

Uncharacteristically, he had greatly underestimated the value of his assets—within Asylum's first year as a Warner subsidiary, albums by Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles alone had earned more than the entire value of the Asylum sale. Warner Music Group_sentence_88

Geffen's discomfort was compounded by the fact that, within six months of the sale, the value of his volatile Warner shares had plummeted from $4.5 million to just $800,000. Warner Music Group_sentence_89

He appealed to Steve Ross to intervene, and as part of a make-good deal, Ross agreed to pay him the difference in the share value over five years. Warner Music Group_sentence_90

Acting on Jac Holzman's suggestion that Kinney should take Asylum from Atlantic and merge it with Elektra, Ross then appointed Geffen to run the new combined label. Warner Music Group_sentence_91

In 1976, Warner gained a brief early lead in digital media when it purchased the Atari computer company, and in 1981 it bought The Franklin Mint company. Warner Music Group_sentence_92

WCI also blazed the trail in visual music with MTV, which it created and co-owned in partnership with American Express. Warner Music Group_sentence_93

In 1984–85, Warner rapidly divested many of these recent acquisitions, including Atari, Franklin Mint, Panavision, MTV Networks and a cosmetics business. Warner Music Group_sentence_94

In 1977, Warner Bros. Music, led by president Ed Silvers, formed Pacific Records for their composers and distributed (appropriately) by Atlantic Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_95

Alan O'Day was the first artist signed to the label, and the first release was "Undercover Angel". Warner Music Group_sentence_96

The song, which he described as a "nocturnal novelette," was in February 1977. Warner Music Group_sentence_97

Within a few months it had become #1 in the country, and has sold approximately two million copies. Warner Music Group_sentence_98

It was also a hit in Australia, reaching #9 on the Australian Singles Chart. Warner Music Group_sentence_99

"Undercover Angel" also landed O'Day in an exclusive club as one of only a handful of writers/performers to pen a #1 hit for themselves and a #1 for another artist. Warner Music Group_sentence_100

New signings in the late 1970s placed WEA in a strong position for the 1980s. Warner Music Group_sentence_101

A deal with Seymour Stein's Sire Records label (which Warner Bros. Records later took over) brought in several major punk rock and new wave acts including the Pretenders, the Ramones and Talking Heads and, most importantly, rising star Madonna; Elektra signed the Cars and Warner Bros. signed Prince, giving WEA several of the biggest-selling acts of the decade. Warner Music Group_sentence_102

WEA's labels also distributed a number of otherwise independent labels. Warner Music Group_sentence_103

For example, Warner Bros. distributed Straight Records, DiscReet Records, Bizarre Records, Bearsville Records, and Geffen Records (the latter was sold to MCA in 1990). Warner Music Group_sentence_104

Atlantic Records distributed Swan Song Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_105

In 1975, WEA scored a major coup by signing a distribution agreement with Island Records, which only covered the United States and select other countries. Warner Music Group_sentence_106

For the next 14 years (initially with Warner Bros. until 1982, then with Atlantic afterward), WEA would distribute such artists as Bob Marley, U2, Robert Palmer, Anthrax, and Tom Waits. Warner Music Group_sentence_107

This relationship ended when Island was sold to PolyGram in 1989. Warner Music Group_sentence_108

1980s Warner Music Group_section_6

A name-only unit appearing exclusively in the copyright, WEA International Inc., was created in early 1982, to handle distribution of all Warner Bros., Elektra, and Atlantic releases for international countries. Warner Music Group_sentence_109

A proposed 1983 international merger between PolyGram and WEA was forbidden by both the US Federal Trade Commission and West Germany's cartel office, so PolyGram's half-owner Philips then purchased a further 40% of the company from its partner Siemens, and bought the remaining shares in 1987. Warner Music Group_sentence_110

The same year, PolyGram divested its film and publishing operations, closed PolyGram Pictures and sold Chappell Music to Warner for US$275 million. Warner Music Group_sentence_111

WEA formed WEA Manufacturing in 1986. Warner Music Group_sentence_112

In 1988 WEA took over the German classical label Teldec and the British Magnet label. Warner Music Group_sentence_113

In 1989, it was announced that Warner Communications was to merge with Time Inc. to form Time Warner, a transaction that was completed in 1990. Warner Music Group_sentence_114

Following the merger, WEA continued acquiring independent labels, buying CGD Records (Italy) and MMG Records (Japan) in 1989. Warner Music Group_sentence_115

1990s Warner Music Group_section_7

Through the 1990s, Time Warner was the largest media company in the world, with assets in excess of US$20 billion and annual revenues in the billions of dollars; by 1991, Warner's music labels were generating sales valued at more than US$3 billion, with operating profits of $550 million and by 1995 its music division dominated the US music industry with a 22% share of the domestic market. Warner Music Group_sentence_116

Acquisitions and corporate changes within the Warner group of labels continued after the Time Warner merger—in 1990 WEA purchased French label Carrere Records, WEA was renamed Warner Music Group in 1991, leading French classical label Erato (1992) and in 1993 WEA bought the Spanish DRO Records, Hungary's Magneoton label, the Swedish Telegram Records, Brazil's Continental Records and Finnish label Fazer Musiikki. Warner Music Group_sentence_117

Atlantic launched two new subsidiary labels in the early 1990s: East West Records and Interscope Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_118

In 1995, East West absorbed Atco Records and was eventually folded into Elektra Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_119

In 1996, Interscope was purchased by MCA Music Entertainment. Warner Music Group_sentence_120

During 1992, the Warner Music Group faced one of the most serious public-relations crises in its history when a major controversy erupted over the provocative Warner Bros. recording "Cop Killer" from the self-titled album by Body Count, a heavy metal/rap fusion band led by Ice-T. Warner Music Group_sentence_121

Unfortunately for Warner, the song (which mentioned the Rodney King case) was issued just before the controversial acquittal of the police charged with King's beating, which sparked the 1992 Los Angeles Riots and the confluence of events put the song under the national spotlight. Warner Music Group_sentence_122

Complaints escalated over the summer—conservative police associations called for a boycott of Time Warner products, politicians including President George H. W. Bush denounced the label for releasing the song, Warner executives received death threats, Time Warner stockholders threatened to pull out of the company and the New Zealand police commissioner unsuccessfully tried to have the record banned there. Warner Music Group_sentence_123

Although Ice-T later voluntarily reissued Body Count without "Cop Killer", the furor seriously rattled Warner Music and in January 1993 the label made an undisclosed deal releasing Ice-T from his contract and returning the Body Count master tapes to him. Warner Music Group_sentence_124

Also in 1992, the Rhino Records label signed a distribution agreement with Atlantic Records and Time Warner bought a 50% stake in the Rhino Records label. Warner Music Group_sentence_125

The distribution agreement allowed Rhino to begin reissuing recordings from Atlantic's back catalogue. Warner Music Group_sentence_126

In 1994, Canadian beverage giant Seagram bought a 14.5% stake in Time Warner, and the Warner publishing division—now called Warner/Chappell Music – acquired CPP/Belwin, becoming the world's largest owner of song copyrights and the world's largest publisher of printed music. Warner Music Group_sentence_127

In 1996, Time Warner made another dramatic expansion of its media holdings, taking over the Turner Broadcasting System, which by then included the Turner cable TV network, CNN and the screen production houses Castle Rock Entertainment and New Line Cinema, acquisitions that brought huge profits into the Warner Group thanks to content assets like Seinfeld and the highly successful The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Warner Music Group_sentence_128

By the early 1990s, senior Warner staff like Ostin and Waronker had remained in their positions for several decades—a highly unusual situation in the American music industry—but the death of Steve Ross destabilized the Time Warner hierarchy, and over the next few years the music group was increasingly disrupted by internal power struggles, leading to a string of major executive upheavals in 1994–95, which The New York Times described as "a virtual civil war". Warner Music Group_sentence_129

The central conflict was between Mo Ostin and Warner Music Group chairman Robert Morgado, who had joined the Warner group in the late 1980s. Warner Music Group_sentence_130

Because of his political background (he had been the chief-of-staff to former New York Governor Hugh L. Carey) and his lack of music industry experience—especially compared to the widely revered Ostin—Morgado was viewed as an outsider at Warner. Warner Music Group_sentence_131

Nevertheless, he gained favour with Ross and Levin and was promoted in 1985 to oversee the Warner international music division after helping the company slash costs in its computer game sector. Warner Music Group_sentence_132

Since his appointment as head of WBR, Ostin had always reported directly to Steve Ross and Ross's successor Gerald Levin, but in late 1993, when Ostin's contract came up for renewal, Morgado asserted his authority, insisting that Ostin should now report directly to him. Warner Music Group_sentence_133

The tensions between them reached boiling point in July 1994 when Morgado appointed former Atlantic chief Doug Morris to head the Warner Music Group in the US, a decision that many saw as a deliberate move to hasten the departure of Ostin and Elektra head Robert Krasnow. Warner Music Group_sentence_134

Morgado's new structure was announced in August 1994 and Bob Krasnow resigned from Elektra the next day. Warner Music Group_sentence_135

Within days, after more than 30 years with the Warner music group and more than 20 years as President and Chairman of Warner Bros. Records, Ostin announced he would not renew his current contract and would leave Warners when it expired on December 31, 1994. Warner Music Group_sentence_136

There was more negative publicity the following month, when leading Elektra act Metallica launched a lawsuit against the label, seeking a release from their contract and ownership of their master tapes, and claiming that Morgado had refused to honour a deal they had worked out with Krasnow before he quit. Warner Music Group_sentence_137

Ostin's departure marked a seismic shift in the corporate culture at WBR and the news was greeted with dismay by industry insiders and the many artists whose careers he had helped to nurture. Warner Music Group_sentence_138

Lenny Waronker had agreed to take over as WBR chairman and CEO but in October 1994 he announced that he would not be taking up the position; he initially said that he would remain as President of WBR, but by this time there was already widespread speculation that he would leave, and he did so soon afterwards. Warner Music Group_sentence_139

The following year he re-joined Ostin and son Michael as joint head of the newly launched DreamWorks label. Warner Music Group_sentence_140

Beginning in August 1994, Morgado alienated Morris by his clumsy handling of Warner's relationship with Interscope Records, the successful label founded by Ted Field and Jimmy Iovine and part-owned by Warner. Warner Music Group_sentence_141

Morgado had resisted making a decision about increasing the Warner stake in Interscope, which encouraged other companies to make overtures to the label; in response, Morgado threatened to send cease-and-desist notices to executives at several record companies, demanding that they stop approaching Interscope with buyout offers, a move that reportedly infuriated Iovine. Warner Music Group_sentence_142

By late 1994, Morris was gaining the upper hand over his rival and media reports claimed that Morris had moved to settle with Metallica, offering a deal that was reportedly even more generous than the one they had worked out with Krasnow. Warner Music Group_sentence_143

Morgado now faced a showdown with Morris, who felt he was not being allowed to run WMG as he saw fit. Warner Music Group_sentence_144

In October 1994, Morris and 11 other Warner executives "staged an unprecedented insurrection that nearly paralyzed the world's largest record company". Warner Music Group_sentence_145

This led to a climactic meeting between Morris and Gerald Levin in late October, at which Morris reportedly threatened to quit if he had to continue to report to Morgado. Warner Music Group_sentence_146

Morgado gave in to the demand that Morris be granted autonomy to run the North American operations and he was forced to upgrade Morris's position from chief operating officer to Chief Executive of Warner Music Group (US); Morris promptly named Danny Goldberg, former president of Atlantic Records, to run WBR in defiance of Morgado, who had a different candidate in mind and Levin also reduced Morgado's power to oversee Warner's mail-order record club division and its international operations. Warner Music Group_sentence_147

Morris then brought in Sylvia Rhone and Seymour Stein to stabilize Elektra, settled the Metallica lawsuit and persuaded Levin to purchase an additional 25% of Interscope, although this initiative proved short-lived. Warner Music Group_sentence_148

The power struggle between Morgado and Morris reached a dramatic climax in May 1995 when Morgado was asked to resign by Gerald Levin, following a welter of complaints from executives at the three major Warner Music labels, who said that Morgado was undermining Morris's authority and damaging Warner's reputation among performers. Warner Music Group_sentence_149

Morgado was immediately replaced by HBO chairman Michael J. Fuchs but the corporate upheavals did not end there; in late June 1995 Fuchs abruptly dismissed Doug Morris, saying that Morris had been "leading a campaign to destabilize Warner Music in an effort to seize control of the company". Warner Music Group_sentence_150

As Morris's strongest ally, Danny Goldberg was also under threat; he was initially told that he could stay on as President of WBR as long as he refrained from office politics and concentrate on the day-to-day management of the label, but he resigned as President of Warner Bros. Records soon after to pursue "other interests", and was replaced by WBR vice-chairman Russ Thyret. Warner Music Group_sentence_151

Despite early success with Dr. Warner Music Group_sentence_152 Dre and Snoop Dogg, and Morris's decision to increase Warner's stake to 50%, by the mid-1990s Interscope Records was being seen as a liability for the Warner group. Warner Music Group_sentence_153

Time Warner's board and investors had already been bruised by the damaging 1992 "Cop Killer" controversy and now they were faced with renewed criticism about the gangsta rap genre, in which Interscope's associate imprint Death Row Records was a key label. Warner Music Group_sentence_154

In mid-1995, Time Warner refused to distribute the Interscope album Dogg Food by Tha Dogg Pound, forcing the label to seek outside distribution, and late in the year TW sold its stake in Death Row back to co-owners Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field and soon after it sold off its share in Interscope to MCA Music Entertainment. Warner Music Group_sentence_155

The upheaval at Warner was beneficial to its rivals, who picked up valuable executives who had left Warner. Warner Music Group_sentence_156

Goldberg moved over to Mercury Records; Morris joined MCA Music Entertainment Group and led its reorganization into Universal Music Group, now the world's largest record company. Warner Music Group_sentence_157

In November 1995, Fuchs was himself sacked by Levin, leaving the company with a reported US$60 million "golden parachute", and Time Warner co-chairmen Robert A. Daly and Terry Semel took over the running of the music division. Warner Music Group_sentence_158

In 1998, Seagram boss Edgar Bronfman Jr. held talks aimed at merging Seagram's Universal Music, headed by Morris, with the venerable British recording company EMI, but the discussions came to nothing; Bronfman then oversaw Universal's takeover by Vivendi. Warner Music Group_sentence_159

WEA meanwhile continued to expand its publishing empire, buying a 90% stake in the Italian recording and music publishing group Nuova Fonit Cetra. Warner Music Group_sentence_160

Also in 1998, Time Warner bought the remaining 50% of the Rhino Records label they did not own. Warner Music Group_sentence_161

The Rhino Records retail store in Los Angeles was not included. Warner Music Group_sentence_162

Rhino then began reissuing the back catalogues of the Warner/Reprise and Elektra/Asylum labels. Warner Music Group_sentence_163

In 1999 Rhino launched Rhino Handmade, which released limited-edition reissues of lesser-known but still-significant recordings from the WEA labels. Warner Music Group_sentence_164

2000s Warner Music Group_section_8

In 2000, Time Warner merged with leading American internet service provider AOL to create AOL Time Warner. Warner Music Group_sentence_165

The new conglomerate again tried (and failed) to acquire EMI, and subsequent discussions about the takeover of BMG stalled, with Bertelsmann eventually offloading BMG into a joint venture with Sony. Warner Music Group_sentence_166

In 2002, AOLTW further consolidated its hold over the publishing industry, buying 50% of music publisher Deston Songs from Edel AG. Warner Music Group_sentence_167

By the early 2000s, however, the effects of the dot-com crash had eroded AOL's profits and stock value, and in 2003 the Time Warner board sidelined its under-performing partner by dropping AOL from its business name. Warner Music Group_sentence_168

As a result of the CD price fixing issue, a settlement was reached in 2002 involving the music publishers and distributors; Sony Music, WMG, Bertelsmann Music Group, EMI Music, Universal Music. Warner Music Group_sentence_169

In restitution for price fixing they agreed to pay a $67.4 million fine and distribute $75.7 million in CDs to public and non-profit groups but admitted no wrongdoing. Warner Music Group_sentence_170

Looking to reduce its debt load, Time Warner—the corporate successor to Warner Communications—sold Warner Music Group in 2004 to a group of investors led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. for US$2.6 billion. Warner Music Group_sentence_171

This spinoff was completed on February 27, 2004. Warner Music Group_sentence_172

In the 2004 transition to independent ownership, WMG hired record industry heavyweight Lyor Cohen from Universal Music Group (the result of the merger between the PolyGram and MCA label families) to attempt to reduce cost and increase performance. Warner Music Group_sentence_173

Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) no longer retains any ownership in WMG, though it had the option to reacquire up to 20% of WMG for three years following the closing of the transaction. Warner Music Group_sentence_174

WMG did, however, have a royalty-free license to use the Warner Bros. shield for 15 years, as well as the old Warner Communications logo as WMG's main logo. Warner Music Group_sentence_175

With the expiration of the royalty-free license on May 2019, Warner Bros. Records (which became separate from the eponymous film studio after the spinoff) was renamed Warner Records and a new logo was introduced to replace the WB shield. Warner Music Group_sentence_176

Once free of Time Warner, WMG began cutting costs by offloading loss-making or low-earning divisions. Warner Music Group_sentence_177

Like its rival EMI, Warner reacted to the growth of the digital music market by making a historic change, moving out of record production by closing or selling off disc-pressing plants, particularly in territories such as the US and the Netherlands, where production costs are high. Warner Music Group_sentence_178

The US manufacturing operations were sold to Cinram in 2003, before the purchase from Time Warner. Warner Music Group_sentence_179

In 2005, the Miami-based Warner Bros. Publications, which printed and distributed a broad selection of sheet music, books, educational material, orchestrations, arrangements and tutorials, was sold to Alfred Music Publishing, although the sale excluded the print music business of WMG's Word Music (church hymnals, choral music and associated instrumental music). Warner Music Group_sentence_180

On May 3, 2006, WMG apparently rejected a buyout offer from EMI. Warner Music Group_sentence_181

Then WMG offered to buy EMI and it also rejected the offer. Warner Music Group_sentence_182

In August 2007, EMI was purchased by Terra Firma Capital Partners. Warner Music Group_sentence_183

Talk of a possible WMG acquisition of EMI was fanned once again in 2009 after WMG executed a bond offering for $1.1 billion, which brought to light WMG's relatively strong financial position, which was contrasted with the weakened and debt-laden state of EMI. Warner Music Group_sentence_184

The same year WMG acquired Rykodisc and Roadrunner Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_185

In September 2006, after pulling its content from the service earlier in the year, WMG entered into a new licensing deal with the video streaming service YouTube. Warner Music Group_sentence_186

Under the deal, WMG would be able to handle advertising sales for its artists' music videos on the service (as well as monetize user-created videos that include WMG-owned recordings) and partake in revenue sharing with YouTube, and also collaborate with YouTube on building a "premium" user experience for its content and associated channels. Warner Music Group_sentence_187

On December 27, 2007, Warner announced that it would sell digital music without digital rights management through AmazonMP3, making it the third major label to do so. Warner Music Group_sentence_188

In 2008, The New York Times reported that WMG's Atlantic Records became the first major record label to generate more than half of its music sales in the U.S. from digital products. Warner Music Group_sentence_189

In 2010, Fast Company magazine detailed the company's transformation efforts in its recorded music division, where it has redefined the relationships it has with artists and diversified its revenue streams through its expansion into growing areas of the music business. Warner Music Group_sentence_190

In 2008, WMG and several other major labels made investments in the new music streaming service Spotify. Warner Music Group_sentence_191

Due to licensing deal negotiations between Google and WMG in 2008, music video content licensed by WMG was removed from YouTube. Warner Music Group_sentence_192

In 2009, it was announced that the companies had reached a deal, and videos would be re-added to YouTube. Warner Music Group_sentence_193

As of 2017, WMG had extended its deal with YouTube. Warner Music Group_sentence_194

In 2009, Warner Music took over its South-East Asian and Korean distributions of EMI audio and video products, including newer domestic releases, which was announced in September 2008. Warner Music Group_sentence_195

The two companies already enjoyed a successful partnership in India, the Middle East and North Africa, where EMI marketed and distributed Warner Music's physical product from 2005. Warner Music Group_sentence_196

WMG formed a partnership with MTV Networks in June 2010 that allowed MTVN to exclusively sell ads on WMG's premium content; in turn, views of WMG videos would be counted as views for MTVN. Warner Music Group_sentence_197

In August 2011, Stephen Cooper became CEO of Warner Music Group replacing Edgar Bronfman Jr., who became chairman of the company. Warner Music Group_sentence_198

Bronfman Jr. stepped down as chairman of the company on January 31, 2012. Warner Music Group_sentence_199

2010s Warner Music Group_section_9

In May 2011, WMG announced its sale to Access Industries, a conglomerate controlled by Soviet-born Jewish billionaire Len Blavatnik, for US$3.3 billion in cash. Warner Music Group_sentence_200

The price represented $8.25 a share; a 34% premium over the six-month-before average price, and a 4% premium over the day-before price. Warner Music Group_sentence_201

Overall, this was a drop of over 70% since 2007. Warner Music Group_sentence_202

According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal ended a three-month sale process in which as many as 10 bidders, including Los Angeles-based brothers Tom and Alec Gores, and Sony Corp. vied for the company. Warner Music Group_sentence_203

Blavatnik was a shareholder and former board member of WMG at the time of the purchase announcement. Warner Music Group_sentence_204

The purchase was completed on July 20, 2011, and the company became private. Warner Music Group_sentence_205

EMI label purchase and divestment Warner Music Group_section_10

In 2013, Warner acquired longtime EMI division Parlophone, along with EMI Classics and some regional EMI labels, from UMG for £487 million (around $764.54 million US). Warner Music Group_sentence_206

This news came after reports that WMG was in talks to acquire EMI's recorded music business, which was eventually bought by Universal. Warner Music Group_sentence_207

The European Commission approved the sale in May 2013, and Warner closed the acquisition on July 1. Warner Music Group_sentence_208

The EMI Classics roster was absorbed into Warner Classics and the Virgin Classics roster was absorbed into the revived Erato Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_209

In November 2013, WMG paid Universal an additional €30 million for Parlophone, following an arbitration process in respect to the original sale price. Warner Music Group_sentence_210

In order to accommodate a deal made with IMPALA and the Merlin Network when it acquired Parlophone, WMG agreed to offload over $200 million worth in catalogues to various independent labels. Warner Music Group_sentence_211

The labels had until February 28, 2014, to inform Warner Music of which artist catalogues they were interested in acquiring, and said artists had to approve of the divestments. Warner Music Group_sentence_212

By March 2015, over 140 independent labels had placed bids on over 11,000 Warner Music artists valuing $6 billion, far higher than expectations. Warner Music Group_sentence_213

In March 2016, Curb Records acquired Warner Music's 80% share of Word Entertainment, though WMG would continue to distribute the label. Warner Music Group_sentence_214

In April 2016, the first confirmed sale of a Warner Music artist was the back catalogue of English band Radiohead to XL Recordings. Warner Music Group_sentence_215

As of the end of May 2016, WMG had sold the catalogue of Chrysalis Records to Blue Raincoat Music, as well as the catalogues of ten other artists, including Everything But the Girl, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, and Lucinda Williams. Warner Music Group_sentence_216

In September 2016, Nettwerk acquired the rights to albums by Guster and Airbourne from Warner Music. Warner Music Group_sentence_217

In April 2017, Warner Music agreed to sell the independent distributor Zebralution back to its founders. Warner Music Group_sentence_218

On June 1, 2017, WMG divested additional artists, including the catalogues of Hot Chip and Buzzcocks to Domino Recording Company; Tom Waits to Anti-; and Howard Jones, Dinosaur Jr., and Kim Wilde to Cherry Red Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_219

Cosmos Music Group acquired the rights to Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson, while Neil Finn's catalogue moved to his Lester Records label. Warner Music Group_sentence_220

On July 6, 2017, Because Music acquired 10 French artists, most of London Records' back catalogue, and The Beta Band, while Concord Music acquired albums by Jewel, Sérgio Mendes, R.E.M. Warner Music Group_sentence_221 , and several rock, blues, and jazz artists. Warner Music Group_sentence_222

In August 2017, The Lemonheads and The Groundhogs were transferred to Fire Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_223

In October 2017, Strut Records acquired albums by Patrice Rushen and Miriam Makeba. Warner Music Group_sentence_224

In November 2017, T.I. Warner Music Group_sentence_225 's catalogue was sold to Cinq Music Group. Warner Music Group_sentence_226

Woah Dad! Warner Music Group_sentence_227

acquired over 20 catalogues, including those of Ziggy Marley, Estelle, and several Swedish artists, while Believe Digital acquired the rights to EMF and several French artists. Warner Music Group_sentence_228

In April 2018, RT Industries acquired seven catalogues from WMG, including Sugar Ray and Fat Joe. Warner Music Group_sentence_229

In May 2018, New State Music acquired the catalogues of Paul Oakenfold and Dirty Vegas. Warner Music Group_sentence_230

Other winning bidders included The Echo Label (Thomas Dolby, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Supergrass), Nature Sounds (Roy Ayers), The state51 Conspiracy (Donovan), PIAS Recordings (Failure), Evolution Music Group (Mr. Big), Playground Music Scandinavia (Olle Adolphson), Metal Blade Records (King Diamond), Snapper Music (Mansun) and its sublabel Kscope (Porcupine Tree), Phoenix Music International (Lulu), Kobalt Label Services (HIM), and Tommy Boy Music (which reclaimed its pre-2002 catalogue and the rights to Brand Nubian, Handsome Boy Modeling School’s White People, Grand Puba, and Club Nouveau). Warner Music Group_sentence_231

All the labels had to complete their deals by September 30, 2017; though a few announcements came after that date. Warner Music Group_sentence_232

Expansion Warner Music Group_section_11

In October 2012, WMG became one of the last major labels to sign with Google's music service. Warner Music Group_sentence_233

It was also one of the last labels to reach an agreement with Spotify. Warner Music Group_sentence_234

In June 2013, WMG expanded into Russia by acquiring Gala Records, best known as the longtime distributor of EMI. Warner Music Group_sentence_235

Later that year, Warner Music Russia agreed to locally distribute releases by Disney Music Group and Sony Music. Warner Music Group_sentence_236

Later that year, WMG closed a deal with Clear Channel Media that saw its artists paid for terrestrial radio play for the first time. Warner Music Group_sentence_237

Clear Channel would get preferential rates for streaming songs through its iHeartRadio service and other online platforms. Warner Music Group_sentence_238

It was believed that the agreement would put pressure on other big labels, including Sony and Universal, to reach similar deals. Warner Music Group_sentence_239

International labels Warner Music Group_section_12

On November 14, 2013, it was determined that Warner Music's releases in the Middle East would be distributed by Universal Music as a result of the integration of EMI's branch in said region. Warner Music Group_sentence_240

Sony Music India would assume distribution of WMG in India, Sri Lanka, and rest of SAARC countries except Bangladesh. Warner Music Group_sentence_241

In December 2013, Warner Music began operating the wholly owned South African subsidiary after acquiring the Gallo's stakes that it did not own. Warner Music Group_sentence_242

In April 2014, WMG announced that it had acquired Chinese record label Gold Typhoon. Warner Music Group_sentence_243

In April 2016, WMG agreed to distribute most of BMG Rights Management's catalogue worldwide through Warner's ADA division, though a few frontline releases would remain distributed by other labels. Warner Music Group_sentence_244

Around the end of May 2016, WMG acquired the Indonesian label PT Indo Semar Sakti. Warner Music Group_sentence_245

Warner Music UK launched The Firepit in May 2016, a creative content division, innovation centre and recording studio located at their United Kingdom headquarters in London. Warner Music Group_sentence_246

On June 2, 2016, Warner Music acquired Swedish compilation label X5 Music Group. Warner Music Group_sentence_247

On June 6, 2017, Warner Music Group launched a new division, Arts Music, which consists of labels for classical, jazz and children's music plus musical theatre and film scores, starting with a joint venture with Sh-K-Boom Records and transferring in Warner Classics. Warner Music Group_sentence_248

In September 2017, one week after acquiring American rock label Artery Recordings, WMG acquired the Dutch EDM label Spinnin' Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_249

In February 2018, Warner Music launched a division in the Middle East, based in Beirut, Lebanon. Warner Music Group_sentence_250

Warner Music Middle East will cover 17 markets across North Africa and the Middle East. Warner Music Group_sentence_251

In January 2019, WMG signed a Turkish distribution deal with Doğan Media Group, which will represent the record company for physical and digital releases. Warner Music Group_sentence_252

In May 2019, Warner Music Finland acquired the hip-hop label Monsp Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_253

In July 2019, Warner Music Slovakia acquired Forza Music, which owned the former state-owned label Opus Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_254

Elektra Music Group and further investments Warner Music Group_section_13

In July 2017, Warner Music acquired the concert discovery website Songkick. Warner Music Group_sentence_255

In May, news media reported that Warner Music led an investment round in Hooch, a popular subscription-lifestyle application including blockchain-based payment technology. Warner Music Group_sentence_256

Announced on June 18, 2018 but effective on October 1, 2018, Warner Music Group launched Elektra Music Group as a stand-alone staffed music company with the labels Elektra Records, Fueled By Ramen, Low Country Sound, Black Cement, and Roadrunner Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_257

A handful of major artists would transfer from Atlantic. Warner Music Group_sentence_258

This returned the group back to the Warner-Elektra-Atlantic (WEA) triad that had for decades marked the original company organization. Warner Music Group_sentence_259

On August 2, 2018, Warner Music announced that it acquired Uproxx Media Group and its properties (except for BroBible, which will continue to publish independently) for an undisclosed sum, although Uproxx has raised around $43m (£33m) from previous investment, which provides some sense of the firm's valuation. Warner Music Group_sentence_260

In September 2018, WMG acquired German merchandise retailer EMP Merchandising from Sycamore Partners for $180 million. Warner Music Group_sentence_261

In October 2018, Warner Music Group announced the launch of the WMG Boost seed venture fund. Warner Music Group_sentence_262

Several labels of Warner Music moved into the Los Angeles Arts District in 2019 where the company had purchased a former Ford Motor Company assembly plant. Warner Music Group_sentence_263

In August 2020, Warner Music acquired Tel Aviv and New York-based IMGN Media in a deal worth approximately $100 million. Warner Music Group_sentence_264

In September 2020, WMG acquired the online hip-hop magazine HipHopDX. Warner Music Group_sentence_265

Public listing Warner Music Group_section_14

On March 9, 2020, WMG expanded to India, creating the Warner Music India unit based in Mumbai and also handle business in other South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries. Warner Music Group_sentence_266

Jay Mehta, ex-executive of Sony Music India, would take change of the unit in April as managing director. Warner Music Group_sentence_267

Before the division's foundation, Warner's releases were distributed in the country by EMI/Virgin Records (India) Pvt. Warner Music Group_sentence_268 , and by Sony Music India since EMI's breakup. Warner Music Group_sentence_269

In 2017, WMG formed its TV and film division with the hiring of former MGM executive Charlie Cohen as head and in March 2019 Kate Shepherd, Ridley Scott Creative Group’s former head of entertainment. Warner Music Group_sentence_270

This division, Warner Music Entertainment, paired with Imagine Entertainment on a Nat Geo limited series Genius: Aretha, which lead to a music slate co-produce and co-finance agreement in July 2020. Warner Music Group_sentence_271

Warner Music Group had planned an IPO of current investors' stock in March 2020, but withdrew its IPO just before the March 2 kick off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Warner Music Group_sentence_272

On June 3, 2020, it completed its IPO on Nasdaq, raising almost $2 billion with a valuation of $12.75 billion, making WMG once again a publicly-traded company after previously going private in 2011. Warner Music Group_sentence_273

On June 12, 2020, Naspers's Tencent announced that it had purchased 10.4% of Warner Music's Class A shares, or 1.6% of the company. Warner Music Group_sentence_274

Tencent already owns 10% of shares of WMG's largest competitor, Universal Music Group, which they acquired from Vivendi in March. Warner Music Group_sentence_275

Also, this makes Sony Music the only major music company not directly owned in any percentage by a Chinese company (it is owned by companies itself wholly owned by Japanese conglomerate Sony). Warner Music Group_sentence_276

Arts Music Warner Music Group_section_15

Arts Music is Warner Music's umbrella division for classical, jazz and children's music plus musical theatre, soundtracks and film scores labels based in New York. Warner Music Group_sentence_277

Labels of the division are Erato Records, First Night Record, Sh-K-Boom Records and Warner Classics and licensed labels are Build-A-Bear, Cloudco Entertainment, and Sesame Street Records. Warner Music Group_sentence_278

On June 6, 2017, Warner Music Group launched a new division, Arts Music, which consists of labels for classical, jazz and children's music plus musical theatre and film scores. Warner Music Group_sentence_279

The division was placed under president Kevin Gore, who reports to Eliah Seton, President of ADA Worldwide, the group's independent distribution and services arm. Warner Music Group_sentence_280

At the same time, Warner Classics, including the Erato label, while remaining based in Paris and continuing under president Alain Lanceron, were transferred into the new division. Warner Music Group_sentence_281

Also, a joint venture with Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, the theatrical music company was formed with the founder/president Kurt Deutsch also being named senior vice president of Theatrical & Catalog Development for Warner/Chappell Music. Warner Music Group_sentence_282

Arts Music signed a multi-year deal in November 2018 with Sesame Workshop to revive the Sesame Street Records label starting in early 2019. Warner Music Group_sentence_283

In June 2019, WMG purchased First Night Record, musical theatre cast recording company, and place the company within Arts Music. Warner Music Group_sentence_284

On June 24, 2019, the division launched the licensed Cloudco Entertainment label with the release of the current Holly Hobbie TV show theme song as a part of a multi-season deal. Warner Music Group_sentence_285

Build-A-Bear Workshop teamed up with Arts Music and Warner Chappell Music in July 2019 to partner on the Build-A-Bear label with Patrick Hughes and Harvey Russell on board to guide the label. Warner Music Group_sentence_286

The division arranged to become the distributor of Mattel's music catalog in May 2020. Warner Music Group_sentence_287

Art Music planned to make available hundreds of ever-before-released songs and new songs for existing properties with first up the digital launch on May 8 of Thomas & Friends’ birthday album. Warner Music Group_sentence_288

Music publishing Warner Music Group_section_16

Warner Chappell Music dates back to 1811 and the creation of Chappell & Company, a sheet music and instrument merchant in London. Warner Music Group_sentence_289

In 1929, Jack L. Warner, president of Warner Bros. Pictures Inc., founded Music Publishers Holding Company (MPHC) to acquire music copyrights as a means of providing inexpensive music for films and, in 1987, Warner Bros.' corporate parent, Warner Communications, acquired Chappell & Company from PolyGram. Warner Music Group_sentence_290

Its printed music operation, Warner Bros. Publications, was sold to Alfred Publishing on June 1, 2005. Warner Music Group_sentence_291

Among the historic compositions of which the publishing rights are controlled by WMG are the works of Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Warner Music Group_sentence_292

In the 1930s and 1940s, Chappell Music also ran a profitable orchestration division for Broadway musicals, with house arrangers of the caliber of Robert Russell Bennett, Don Walker, Ted Royal and Hans Spialek. Warner Music Group_sentence_293

Between them they had orchestrated about 90% of the productions seen up to late 1941. Warner Music Group_sentence_294

See also Warner Music Group_section_17

Warner Music Group_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warner Music Group.