Publishing, label—does it all, grows it all
Cameron Strang says the chief lesson for him and the music industry in general last year was a simple one: “Be prepared to embrace change and find opportunities in that change.” Initially tasked with revitalizing Warner/Chappell Music, and from there also rebuilding the iconic Warner Bros. Records and overseeing Rhino Entertainment, Strang wrapped 2013 with a string of notable accomplishments.
On the publishing side, Warner/Chappell—under the stewardship of senior executive Jon Platt, who joined in 2012—further bolstered its roster with such signings as Jay Z, Beyoncé, Aloe Blacc, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and in-demand producer Mike Will Made It. Warner/Chappell’s Nashville division, which boasts talents like Kacey Musgraves and Ben Hayslip, was named ASCAP publisher of the year.
Michael Bublé, as well as Josh Groban and Avenged Sevenfold, were among the acts that helped Warner Bros. Records stake out some chart-topping territory. It was a year in which the legendary Cher returned and critically acclaimed newcomer Gary Clarke Jr. earned a Grammy nod. Complementing that action was Warner Music Group’s acquisition of Parlophone in July, with the majority of its roster (including Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen and catalog titles from Pink Floyd and Radiohead) assigned to Warner Bros.
Strang says of the additions, “Working closer with those incredible artists and the Parlophone team, we’re taking a global approach to Warner Bros. Records.”
Helping Strang put his stamp on Warner Bros. moving forward will be his handpicked executive management team, headed by new label president Dan McCarroll. Moving over from the same post at Capitol, McCarroll joined fellow recent appointees Brian Frank, executive VP of marketing and strategy, and Dion Singer, executive VP of creative marketing. The label’s market share of total albums plus TEA rose to 4.9% from 4.7% in 2012.
As for who possesses power in the music industry, Strang singles out music fans. “Look at the amount of choices consumers now have to listen to and experience music plus connect with artists,” he says. “That’s a major shift from where it was a few years ago. ”