Warner CEO predicts more independent labels acquired by majors this year

Stephen Cooper, CEO of Warner Music Group, has predicted that more independent labels will be acquired by majors this year. 

Warner, of course, bought Parlophone – home of Blur, Pink Floyd and more – earlier this year. Universal had to divest itself of certain assets, including Parlophone, to complete its takeover of EMI, a move that made Universal the world’s largest major.

Speaking last night [via Music Week], Cooper forecast that more independent music companies would be acquired, claiming that “it’s likely that we’ll see some level of activity entered into. But frankly many of the [independents] are capital-constrained, so I think that it is more probable that the majors will end up acquiring independents here and there, as opposed to consolidation among independents themselves.”

Cooper also indicated that Parlophone wouldn’t be Warner’s last purchase this year. When quizzed on whether Warner would be acquiring more assets, he responded “[Yes], to the extent that like all of our acquisition activities, they have to have the appropriate assets – by that I mean high quality with good longevity. [Assets] have to be able to add the right value and it has to fit within our strategic and tactical plans for the future, whether that be directly in core music space or in complementary spaces around our business.”

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