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Warner to launch new classical label, integrate Virgin and EMI Classics catalogues

Tom Pakinkis
Warner Music Group

WMG hopes that its acquisition of Parlophone Label Group will drive new efforts in the classical genre and catalogue strategy, as well as strengthening the major’s roster in Continental Europe.

In a memo to staff, handed to Music Week, Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper says that the February acquisition of PLG for £487m cash “will accelerate some of our existing strategies as well as creating potential for us in new areas.”

On the classical genre, Cooper says: “Our acquisition of the renowned labels, EMI Classics and Virgin Classics, will open up huge scope for us to reinvigorate our approach to classical music, starting with the development of a new brand for our activities in this genre. 

“We intend to be ambitious and innovative custodians of this revered catalogue and will strive to create the first-choice home for contemporary classical talent.”

Cooper goes on to talk about ambitions to refresh WMG’s global strategy for its general catalogue, saying: “The WMG and PLG catalogues are highly complementary. 

“By bringing them together, we will unite many of music’s crown jewels under one roof and that will open up countless creative and commercial possibilities.  This transaction will be a catalyst to refreshing our global catalog strategy and we will be devoting considerable resources to connecting fans everywhere with this incredible body of work.”

Cooper adds that the acquisition will also support future inroads further into Europe: “Acquiring EMI Music’s operating companies in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden will further enhance our ability to nurture European music talent, not just in those markets where we are already established champions of local artists but in new territories as well. 

“We recognise that the appetite for local repertoire has never been stronger, so increasing the size and diversity of our European roster will be an area of renewed focus as we go forward.”

For insight into Warner Music Group's proposed frontline A&R support for Parlophone, click here.

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Tags: WMG, Parlophone, Warner Music Group

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