Warner Music Group

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Warner Music Group

legal form Corporation
ISIN US9345502036
founding 1929
Seat New York City , New York , United States
United StatesUnited States 
management Stephen F. Cooper ( CEO )
Branch entertainment
Website www.wmg.com , www.warnermusic.de

Single - record by Warner Brothers Records

The Warner Music Group ( WMG for short ) (also known as WEA International ) is one of the three largest major labels in the world alongside the Universal Music Group and Sony Music . It is headquartered in New York and is a subsidiary of Access Industries . It was listed on the NYSE until 2011 , and has been listed on the NASDAQ since 2020 . The music publisher called Warner / Chappell Music , whose history goes back to 1929 , also belongs to WMG .

The headquarters of Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH is in Hamburg and is responsible for business for Central Europe (German-speaking countries and Eastern Europe). Managing Director for Central and Eastern Europe is Bernd Dopp, who started as a product manager in marketing at WEA in 1984 after setting up the record sales of the retail chain "Schaulandt" in Northern Germany become.

In May 2011, the Russian-born US billionaire Leonard Blavatnik acquired Warner Music for $ 3.3 billion through his investment firm Access Industries . In the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011 Warner announced a loss of $ 103 million, for the full year they posted a loss of $ 205 million. The main reason is declining CD sales.


The roots of WMG lie in the establishment of Warner Bros. Records, as part of the Warner Bros. Film Studios, in 1958. In 1970, Warner Music International (WMI) was founded as "WEA International"; "WEA" stands for "Warner-Elektra-Atlantic". Warner Music International has three regional offices each for the regions Asia / Pacific, Latin America and Europe and operates in more than 50 countries worldwide.

The WEA Corp. was founded as a joint physical distributor for the sound carriers of Warner Records as well as the acquired labels Elektra and Atlantic. In addition, WEA Corp. Audio and video publications, etc. a. by Rhino Entertainment, Asylum Records, Word Entertainment, Time-Life Music, Warner Music Latina, and Curb Records . WEA Corp. was considered the first major music distribution company outside the United States when it was founded . The business of WEA Corp. has now merged into the parent company WMG.

It was sold on February 27, 2004 by the Time Warner company to a group of investors led by Edgar Bronfman jun. and sold with, among others, Haim Saban . Warner Music Publications , a former part of Warner / Chappell, was sold in 2005 to the competitor Alfred Publishing .

Problems and restructuring

The comparatively small size of WMG among the majors as well as the industry-wide slump in profits in the operative business should be compensated in the meantime by a joint venture with BMG , but this was not realized. The competitor EMI was also interested in a merger in order to jointly increase the market share in the music business. At the beginning of May 2006, however, the Warner Music Group rejected a takeover offer from EMI and responded with its own takeover offer. In the course of the meanwhile rejection of the merger of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (today only Sony Music Entertainment ) by the European Court of Justice , these merger plans were rejected again.

Warner Music is currently having to cope with the decline of numerous great artists such as Depeche Mode , Nickelback and Madonna. But attempts are being made to assert oneself in the ongoing crisis by expanding the business field to include new areas. To build up its own tour business, Warner Music relies on the addition of Christian Gerlach, who previously worked for the Hamburg concert organizer Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion GmbH .

Like its competitors ( Universal Music , Sony , EMI and the merger of various independent labels called “ Merlin ”), Warner is now licensing the repertoire catalog to streaming service providers such as Spotify . For its own digital distribution, Warner Music secured a majority stake in the German company Zebralution , which was a direct competitor of Finetunes and The Orchard for the digital distribution of music, previously primarily for independents.

In addition to the tour business and merchandising , Warner is now also active in the service business for branded goods companies and agencies . Licensing at Warner Music resulted in B. Selected cell phones in 27 countries with pre-saved songs by Madonna on sale.

Litigation with YouTube

WMG is in legal dispute with the video platform YouTube . As a result, more and more videos are being removed from WMG or their audio tracks are deactivated. This is heavily criticized by the users of YouTube.

Strictly speaking, it is not a litigation. Rather, an agreement made in 2006, according to which WMG music may be used on YouTube, was not extended at the end of 2008 after failed negotiations. In September 2009, however, the conclusion of a new agreement was announced. Accordingly, the use of Warner music will be possible again from the end of 2009, for which Warner will receive a large part of the advertising income. So far, with these flat-rate remuneration to Warner Music, it is still completely open and unregulated according to which distribution key the money is transferred to the artists.

It is also unclear what happens to newer videos by artists who were formerly under contract with WMG, but WMG no longer has any rights to their current works. Since the locks are only activated by keywords, these videos are also affected.

Although an agreement was reached in September 2009, at least one YouTube channel that contained cover songs was shut down in January 2010, ironically a participant in a cover video contest proclaimed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist .

Affiliated record companies

The following labels belong to the Warner Music Group :

Web links

Commons : Warner Music Group  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Warner Music strikes a chord as shares pop on Nasdaq debut . In: Reuters . June 3, 2020 ( reuters.com [accessed July 7, 2020]).
  2. Am Deichtor with Madonna on abendblatt.de
  3. http://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/warner100.html ( Memento from May 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  4. http://www.musiknews.de/news-view-33969914/warner-music-verliert-weiter-geld.html  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.musiknews.de  
  5. warner music international at wmg.com ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  6. wea corp. ( Memento of February 4, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) at wmg.com
  7. ^ Warner Music: Bronfman back in the music business at manager-magazin.de
  8. Warner Music has to accept a drastic drop in profits at heise.de
  9. Bertelsmann: Feverish search for a partner at manager-magazin.de
  10. Speculations about the EMI-Warner merger flared up again at pressetext.at
  11. EMI firmly rejects offer from Warner Music, share +10 percent at finanzen.net
  12. Fusion between EMI and Warner Music on ice ( Memento from October 20, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) at heute.de
  13. Depeche Mode leave WARNER on mute.twoday.net
  14. Madonna announces huge Live Nation deal on msnbc.msn.com (English)
  15. Christian Gerlach leaves Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion GmbH ( Memento from May 25, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) on pop100.com
  16. Spotify Announces Licensing Deals and Upcoming Launch on prnewswire.co.uk (English)
  17. Warner Music joins Zebralution on golem.de
  18. Madonna songs to be bundled on Sony Ericsson phones at allaboutmadonna.com (English)
  19. Warner Music Group and YouTube Announce Landmark Video Distribution and Revenue Partnership at YouTube.com (English)
  20. YouTube soon without Warner music videos at heise.de
  21. Warner Music Group statement regarding YouTube ( Memento from January 13, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) at wmg.com (English)
  22. Warner Music and YouTube Reach Deal on Licensing at wsj.com (English)
  23. ^ Warner Music against YouTube musicians at bassnews.de
  24. Alternative Press : Warner Bros. acquire Artery Recordings for undisclosed amount of money
  25. Warner buys spinnin 'records in $ 100M + deal. In: Music Business Worldwide. September 7, 2017, accessed January 28, 2018 .