Hi there and welcome back after a longer break than I intended to take. I didn’t intend to take one at all, actually, but ... well, this isn’t the place to discuss it. Not that I even care to. Just know it was pretty serious to take me away from here for two weeks and to interrupt a two-parter. Feel free to familiarize yourself with part one on my look at the state of the few remaining major record labels left before I move on below.
All caught up? Good. Now that you are, I have to admit I screwed up. To his credit, a reader named Da Maya called me on it in the comments section:
"Contrary to your blog [post], Warner Bros. does not own Warner Music Group. Neither does Time-Warner. Warner Music Group has been an independent company since around 2005.
Warner Music has been signing more and more artists to "360 deals" where they take a percentage of the artists' touring, merchandising, endorsement and other revenue. This is probably why so many people are interested in bidding for WMG. So basically I disagree with you because the business model has changed on the recording side, and that is far from a 'nail in the coffin'.
WMG's other business - publishing, is a money printing machine, by the way."
He’s right, you know. I’m not about to make any excuses for it either. I made an assumption, didn’t check my facts, and was rightly called on it. For that, I apologize and also promise that it’s not a mistake that will happen again.
To wit: Warner Music Group has already been sold by Time-Warner (as of seven years ago). Edgar Bronfman Jr. led a group of investors in picking up the label in 2004, and it has been under his watch ever since. We see now where that “leadership” has led and how much it has cost them (which, again, was discussed in part one). We could certainly debate how much money they’re losing and the publishing business (which WMG has insisted be bought with the rest of the label, but that’s for another time).