Sesame Street Records to Be Relaunched by Warner Music and Sesame Workshop

When thinking of classic television performances by major recording artists, people usually mention “Saturday Night Live,” “Ed Sullivan,” Super Bowl halftimes, the Doobie Brothers on “What’s Happening” (okay, maybe not that one so much) and late-night …

When thinking of classic television performances by major recording artists, people usually mention “Saturday Night Live,” “Ed Sullivan,” Super Bowl halftimes, the Doobie Brothers on “What’s Happening” (okay, maybe not that one so much) and late-night shows ranging from Johnny Carson to James Corden. Rarely does anyone mention “Sesame Street” — which is understandable, because […]

Warner Bros. Records Names Eesean Bolden Senior VP of A&R

Eesean Bolden has been promoted to Senior Vice President of A&R at Warner Bros. Records, the company’s co-chairman & CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck announced today. The move is the first major staff announcement since Bay-Schuck officially took the helm …

Eesean Bolden has been promoted to Senior Vice President of A&R at Warner Bros. Records, the company’s co-chairman & CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck announced today. The move is the first major staff announcement since Bay-Schuck officially took the helm at the label on Oct. 1. Bolden, who has served as VP of A&R at the label since September 2016, signed one of its […]

Elektra Music Group Announces Leadership Team

Elektra Music Group, the newly formed stand-alone company within Warner Music Group that launched October 1, today announced its full leadership team. The company — the first such label expansion the music industry has seen in many years — includes the…

Elektra Music Group, the newly formed stand-alone company within Warner Music Group that launched October 1, today announced its full leadership team. The company — the first such label expansion the music industry has seen in many years — includes the artists Twenty One Pilots, Sturgill Simpson, Zac Brown Band, Brandi Carlile, Fitz and the Tantrums, Paramore, Slipknot, […]

Tencent Music Files for IPO, Sony and Warner Music Acquire $200 Million in Shares

As expected, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the largest music-streaming company in China, has officially filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. In an F-1 filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company set a placeh…

As expected, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the largest music-streaming company in China, has officially filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. In an F-1 filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company set a placeholder amount of $1 billion to indicate the size of the IPO and applied to list on the New […]

Warner Music to Acquire EMP Merchandising for $180 Million

Warner Music Group today announced it has entered into a “definitive agreement” to acquire EMP Merchandising Handelsgesellschaft mbH (EMP), a European specialty music and entertainment merchandise e-tailer, for approximately $180 million. EMP is curren…

Warner Music Group today announced it has entered into a “definitive agreement” to acquire EMP Merchandising Handelsgesellschaft mbH (EMP), a European specialty music and entertainment merchandise e-tailer, for approximately $180 million. EMP is currently owned by Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm based in New York. While terms of the deal were not revealed in […]

Elektra Records Boosts A&R Team in Advance of Oct. 1 Relaunch

Elektra Music Group, the newly formed stand-alone music company set to launch on October 1, has announced two appointments to its A&R team. Will McDonald (above, right) has joined the label as Vice President, A&R and Marketing, based in Nashvil…

Elektra Music Group, the newly formed stand-alone music company set to launch on October 1, has announced two appointments to its A&R team. Will McDonald (above, right) has joined the label as Vice President, A&R and Marketing, based in Nashville. Shawn Cohen has been named Senior Director, A&R, based in Los Angeles. McDonald and Cohen report to […]

Warner Music Group Sells Remaining Shares in Spotify

Warner Music Group announced Tuesday that it has sold its remaining shares in the music streaming service Spotify.
In May, WMG sold 75 percent of its shares for an approximate $400 million, according to Recode.
Warner Music CEO Steve Cooper said on Tue…

Warner Music Group announced Tuesday that it has sold its remaining shares in the music streaming service Spotify.

In May, WMG sold 75 percent of its shares for an approximate $400 million, according to Recode.

Warner Music CEO Steve Cooper said on Tuesday’s second-quarter earnings call that it had sold its remaining shares for $104 million. Of the $504 million which the company received for 100 percent of the stock, $126 million of that total will be reflected on artists’ August and September royalty statements throughout the world, according to Variety.

“While Apple and Spotify continue to grow their global subscriber numbers, Amazon and YouTube are both off to a great start with their premium services,” Cooper said on the call, per Variety. “This increased competition is good news for our business, and we’re happy to see other large tech companies, such as Facebook, begin to recognize the true value that music brings to their platforms.”

Despite the label’s selling its remaining shares, Cooper said WMG still has confidence in Spotify’s future, and that the sale instead was reflective of WMG’s desire to not remain long-term shareholders in the company.

“I think at the moment our valuation reflects what we believe is fair,” Cooper said. “The speculation about [whether] Universal Music Group [will sell any of its equity] remains speculation at the moment, and with respect to public versus private, to the best of my knowledge [Warner parent company] Access prefers private, so I think that while we’re seeing a lot of interesting movement in the world of music. The only one that’s really materialized is Spotify, and the valuation that they received was expected, and good for them.”

Last week, Sony Music announced that it sold half its shares for a total of $750 million. Sony Music had the largest amount of shares in Spotify among the major labels.

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XXXTentacion's 'Sad!' Beats Taylor Swift's Spotify Record for One-Day Streams

Warner Music Group Sells Its Entire Stake in Spotify

In its earnings call on Tuesday morning, Warner Music Group announced that it has now sold its entire stake in Spotify, realizing $504 million. CEO Steve Cooper said that the sale resulted in $126 million “credited to artist accounts on their June 30 r…

In its earnings call on Tuesday morning, Warner Music Group announced that it has now sold its entire stake in Spotify, realizing $504 million. CEO Steve Cooper said that the sale resulted in $126 million “credited to artist accounts on their June 30 royalty statements which are issued around the world in August and September.” A rep confirmed that distributed labels […]

Spotify Stock Sale, Streaming Bump Drive Warner Music Group’s Third Quarter

While its total and digital revenue were up, Warner Music Group suffered a significant dip in the quarter that ended June 30, 2018, with its operating income at $28 million compared to $51 million in the same period last year; OIBDA dropped to $99 mill…

While its total and digital revenue were up, Warner Music Group suffered a significant dip in the quarter that ended June 30, 2018, with its operating income at $28 million compared to $51 million in the same period last year; OIBDA dropped to $99 million compared with $115 million. Total revenue grew 4.5% (or 1.9% […]

Warner Music Group Acquires UPROXX

Warner Music Group has acquired the web entity UPROXX, the 10-year-old online hub and video production house aimed at youth that boasts a reach of 40 million people across social media, YouTube and beyond. UPROXX CEO and Chief Creative Benjamin Blank a…

Warner Music Group has acquired the web entity UPROXX, the 10-year-old online hub and video production house aimed at youth that boasts a reach of 40 million people across social media, YouTube and beyond. UPROXX CEO and Chief Creative Benjamin Blank and co-founder and Publisher Jarret Myer will stay on, according to a release announcing […]

Warner Bros. Records Head of Promotion Peter Gray Exiting Label

Peter Gray, a seven-year veteran of Warner Bros. Records who in 2016 was named the label’s executive VP and head of radio promotion, is exiting the company, Variety has confirmed. His departure, due to come in October, comes ahead of a contract e…

Peter Gray, a seven-year veteran of Warner Bros. Records who in 2016 was named the label’s executive VP and head of radio promotion, is exiting the company, Variety has confirmed. His departure, due to come in October, comes ahead of a contract expiration. “I had an awesome run at Warner Bros and a great time […]

Sire Records Co-Founder Seymour Stein Leaving Warner Music Group After Four Decades

Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein — who signed and released albums by Madonna, the Ramones, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, the Smiths, the Pretenders, and many others — will be leaving Warner Music Group after four decades with the company, it was an…

Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein — who signed and released albums by Madonna, the Ramones, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, the Smiths, the Pretenders, and many others — will be leaving Warner Music Group after four decades with the company, it was announced Wednesday. The announcement was made in tandem with Stein receiving the Recording Academy’s […]

Warner to Launch Elektra Music Group as Stand-Alone Company

Warner Music Group announced today that Elektra will be launched as a stand-alone, fully staffed music group on Oct. 1 of this year. The company — which will include the Elektra, Fueled By Ramen, Roadrunner, Low Country Sound and Black Cement labels — …

Warner Music Group announced today that Elektra will be launched as a stand-alone, fully staffed music group on Oct. 1 of this year. The company — which will include the Elektra, Fueled By Ramen, Roadrunner, Low Country Sound and Black Cement labels — be headed by Co-Presidents Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel (pictured above, left […]

Elektra Records Founder Jac Holzman Launches ‘Cosmic Ringtones’ Project

Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman has launched a new venture that is nothing if not self-evident: cosmic ringtones, 29 tracks “inspired by a celestial body or phenomenon of the universe,” produced by Holzman and aimed at the global ringto…

Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman has launched a new venture that is nothing if not self-evident: cosmic ringtones, 29 tracks “inspired by a celestial body or phenomenon of the universe,” produced by Holzman and aimed at the global ringtone market. It is out through Holzman’s own FM Group Music label, distributed by ADA, Warner Music Group’s […]

Bhad Bhabie: From ‘Cash Me Outside’ to Cashing In on a Legit Rap Career

At tonight’s Billboard Music Awards, which recognizes artists who’ve made the biggest impact on the charts, as tabulated by Nielsen Music, several newcomers find themselves in major categories. They include country singer Kane Brown, who notched …

At tonight’s Billboard Music Awards, which recognizes artists who’ve made the biggest impact on the charts, as tabulated by Nielsen Music, several newcomers find themselves in major categories. They include country singer Kane Brown, who notched a No. 1 in his format with “American Idol” graduate Lauren Alaina, and is nominated three times; R&B wunderkind […]

Merlin Sells All of Its Spotify Shares for an Estimated $125 Million-Plus

Merlin, the international independent label collective, is the latest recorded-music group to sell its Spotify shares — all of them, in fact, for an amount well over $100 million, according to reports in Music Week and Music Business Worldwide. The org…

Merlin, the international independent label collective, is the latest recorded-music group to sell its Spotify shares — all of them, in fact, for an amount well over $100 million, according to reports in Music Week and Music Business Worldwide. The organization says it has already passed the proceeds to its members, which number more than 800 […]

Warner Music Group Sells 75% of Its Spotify Shares

In its earnings call on Monday morning, Warner Music Group announced that it has sold around 75% of its Spotify equity for approximately $400 million. Cooper said $300m of the sale would go to shareholders. “We will be sharing equity proceeds wit…

In its earnings call on Monday morning, Warner Music Group announced that it has sold around 75% of its Spotify equity for approximately $400 million. Cooper said $300m of the sale would go to shareholders. “We will be sharing equity proceeds with distributed labels,” Cooper said, if that stipulation is included in their agreements with the company. […]

Warner Music Group Posts Solid Second-Quarter Earnings

Warner Music Group posted strong fiscal second-quarter financial results this morning, with total revenue up 16.7% (10.4% in constant currency) and digital revenue up 24.6% (19.7% in constant currency). Digital revenue represented 56.8% of total revenu…

Warner Music Group posted strong fiscal second-quarter financial results this morning, with total revenue up 16.7% (10.4% in constant currency) and digital revenue up 24.6% (19.7% in constant currency). Digital revenue represented 56.8% of total revenue, compared to 53.2% in the prior-year quarter. “We’re having another excellent year with strong momentum around the world in […]

JAAK Moves Ahead with Blockchain Pilot, Joined by BMG, Global Music Rights, Warner Music, Others

London-based tech start-up JAAK has announced a successful pilot of its blockchain network, KORD. Pilot participants include BMG, Global Music Rights, Outdustry, Phoenix Music International Ltd, Sentric, Warner Music Group and Warner/Chappell Music. Th…

London-based tech start-up JAAK has announced a successful pilot of its blockchain network, KORD. Pilot participants include BMG, Global Music Rights, Outdustry, Phoenix Music International Ltd, Sentric, Warner Music Group and Warner/Chappell Music. The mere mention of the word “blockchain” can make people’s brains shut off, but the pilot is a step forward for a […]

Warner Bros. Records Names Jeff Sosnow EVP of A&R

Warner Bros. Records announced today that Jeff Sosnow has been promoted to Executive Vice President, A&R. In his expanded post, he will oversee the signing and developing of outstanding artists for both the Warner Bros. and Reprise labels, accordin…

Warner Bros. Records announced today that Jeff Sosnow has been promoted to Executive Vice President, A&R. In his expanded post, he will oversee the signing and developing of outstanding artists for both the Warner Bros. and Reprise labels, according to the announcement. Sosnow, who has served as Senior Vice President, A&R for Warner Bros. since 2012, has worked with […]

Saudi Crown Prince Charms Haim Saban, Jonathan Nelson, Dan Senor at Private Dinner (Exclusive)

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia continues his charm offensive in Hollywood, dining privately on Tuesday evening with Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban, Republican strategist Dan Senor and private equity media investor Jonathan Nelson, TheWrap has learned.

According to an individual with knowledge of the meeting, the four-hour dinner had Mohammed Bin Salman al Saud expounding on his vision of an economically diverse, culturally significant Saudi Arabia, a message he has been selling hard in a jam-packed trip to Hollywood and later in the week to Silicon Valley.

The evening was more intimate than some of the other events this week, including those hosted by Rupert Murdoch or Brian Grazer. It took place at the crown prince’s Beverly Hills mansion, and was limited to the four men. (A fifth invitee, billionaire and Los Angeles civic philanthropist Eli Broad, fell ill and did not attend, the insider said.)

Also Read: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Buys Out Four Seasons Hotel for Hollywood Visit (Exclusive)

Saban is a noted Democratic donor and devoted Israel supporter. Senor is an investor, author and former foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. And Nelson is the founder of the $40 billion private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, which has invested in media companies including Hulu, The Chernin Group, Warner Music Group and Univision.

The crown prince, according to the insider, talked about bringing culture to Saudi Arabia. Dalian Wanda-owned AMC announced Wednesday it would open the first two cineplexes in the country’s modern history, and the laws have been loosened to soon allow women to drive.

The 32-year-old monarch has embarked on a strategy to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy as oil becomes less reliable, and to open the country’s harsh Islamic restrictions.

Also Read: AMC to Open Saudi Arabia’s First Movie Theater

The Tuesday dinner combined learning and promotion by the crown prince, who was described by the insider as “visionary” and “super-smart.”

The conversation turned, not unexpectedly, to Saudi relations with Israel, as this is a major concern for Democratic donor Saban, who also holds Israeli citizenship.

The crown prince suggested the time had come for a new era of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the insider said, and that a “rapprochement” could happen once there is “significant progress at the Palestinian-Israeli level,” though he did not specify what that would mean.

The crown prince has won points with Israel in recent weeks by allowing Israeli flights to India to pass through Saudi air space — something that had previously been forbidden and extended flights by several hours.

According to the individual with knowledge of the dinner, there was no discussion of any political opening in the Saudi kingdom nor of the crown prince’s recent moves to shut down rivals by arresting members of the royal family.

The Saudi consulate and Saban had no comment. Señor did not respond to a message requesting comment. Nelson could not be immediately reached for comment, and his office said they would get back to TheWrap.

Oh, right — and the menu for the meal? Italian.

 

Related stories from TheWrap:

Kristen Stewart, Chloe Sevigny Crime Drama ‘Lizzie’ Picked Up by Saban Films

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Killing Gunther’ Snagged by Saban Films

AMC to Open Saudi Arabia’s First Movie Theater

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Buys Out Four Seasons Hotel for Hollywood Visit (Exclusive)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to Meet With Hollywood Executives, But Protesters Aren’t Impressed

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia continues his charm offensive in Hollywood, dining privately on Tuesday evening with Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban, Republican strategist Dan Senor and private equity media investor Jonathan Nelson, TheWrap has learned.

According to an individual with knowledge of the meeting, the four-hour dinner had Mohammed Bin Salman al Saud expounding on his vision of an economically diverse, culturally significant Saudi Arabia, a message he has been selling hard in a jam-packed trip to Hollywood and later in the week to Silicon Valley.

The evening was more intimate than some of the other events this week, including those hosted by Rupert Murdoch or Brian Grazer. It took place at the crown prince’s Beverly Hills mansion, and was limited to the four men. (A fifth invitee, billionaire and Los Angeles civic philanthropist Eli Broad, fell ill and did not attend, the insider said.)

Saban is a noted Democratic donor and devoted Israel supporter. Senor is an investor, author and former foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. And Nelson is the founder of the $40 billion private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, which has invested in media companies including Hulu, The Chernin Group, Warner Music Group and Univision.

The crown prince, according to the insider, talked about bringing culture to Saudi Arabia. Dalian Wanda-owned AMC announced Wednesday it would open the first two cineplexes in the country’s modern history, and the laws have been loosened to soon allow women to drive.

The 32-year-old monarch has embarked on a strategy to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy as oil becomes less reliable, and to open the country’s harsh Islamic restrictions.

The Tuesday dinner combined learning and promotion by the crown prince, who was described by the insider as “visionary” and “super-smart.”

The conversation turned, not unexpectedly, to Saudi relations with Israel, as this is a major concern for Democratic donor Saban, who also holds Israeli citizenship.

The crown prince suggested the time had come for a new era of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the insider said, and that a “rapprochement” could happen once there is “significant progress at the Palestinian-Israeli level,” though he did not specify what that would mean.

The crown prince has won points with Israel in recent weeks by allowing Israeli flights to India to pass through Saudi air space — something that had previously been forbidden and extended flights by several hours.

According to the individual with knowledge of the dinner, there was no discussion of any political opening in the Saudi kingdom nor of the crown prince’s recent moves to shut down rivals by arresting members of the royal family.

The Saudi consulate and Saban had no comment. Señor did not respond to a message requesting comment. Nelson could not be immediately reached for comment, and his office said they would get back to TheWrap.

Oh, right — and the menu for the meal? Italian.

 

Related stories from TheWrap:

Kristen Stewart, Chloe Sevigny Crime Drama 'Lizzie' Picked Up by Saban Films

Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Killing Gunther' Snagged by Saban Films

AMC to Open Saudi Arabia's First Movie Theater

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Buys Out Four Seasons Hotel for Hollywood Visit (Exclusive)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to Meet With Hollywood Executives, But Protesters Aren't Impressed