Warner Music Group to have New Head

Digital-Lifestyles.info is not just about the content and the technology, it is also significant changes within companies behind them. This time interesting moves in the music world. It looks like there are grand plans afoot for the new Warner Music Group, after the completion of its $2.6Bn purchase by a consortium of investors led by Edgar Bronfman, Jr.

Bronfman, who transformed Seagrams from an company that only sold alcohol to one encompassing music (Polygram music) and film (Universal pictures) empires, is not know for his mellow view on file sharing networks – “We must restrict the anonymity behind which people hide to commit crimes. As citizens, we have a right to privacy. We have no such right to anonymity”, he said when commenting on the Napster controversy.

That might not mean that some of his ideas might not be radical. He has just hired Lyor Cohen, the current CEO of Island Def Jam Recordings, whose 21 year stint with Def Jam has included launching the careers of Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy. He is highly rated for his different approach to business by his long-time friend and business partner Russell Simmons – “When most people throw money at things, Lyor throws creativity … his vision is just different. You have to find new ways to do things. You have to be creative. The whole business needs to be revamped and Lyor knows how to do this and that’s why this new job is perfect for him.”

Cohen will have control over the second most powerful music entertainment company, which according to Nielsen SoundScan have an 18% share of the market with only Universal ahead with 28%. Not bad for someone who starting as road manager for Run-DMC, especially given his package is rumoured to be worth $50 million.

Hoffman is clear in his intentions, “Our fundamental focus is growing a competitive company”.

USA Today – Lyor Cohen to head Warner Music Group

Edgar Bronfman, Jr – profile