Warner announces launch of new South African business
By Chris Cooke | Published on Friday 6 December 2013
We’ve resisted the temptation to spin a music-related story out of the really big news coming out of South Africa today – except to squeeze in an RIP to the great Mandela and to note that through its acquisition of the Chrysalis catalogue earlier this year we’re pretty sure Warner Music ended up with control of one of the greatest protest songs ever recorded – but in music business news, yesterday the mini-major announced the launch of Warner Music South Africa.
The launch follows Warner buying out its former business partner in the region Gallo Records, so that their joint venture company Warner Music Gallo Africa will become a wholly-owned WMG subsidiary. The former firm’s General Manager Tracy Fraser will become MD of Warner Music South Africa, which will oversee the release of the major’s international repertoire in South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent.
Confirming the Gallo deal and new wholly owned business in South Africa, Warner Recorded Music’s President, International Stu Bergen told CMU: “We are very excited about the growth potential of the music industry in South Africa. Our commitment to strengthening our geographical reach and global network continues, and we see this investment as another step towards delivering best in class services and driving new opportunities for our extraordinary artists all around the world”.
Meanwhile Fraser added: “Thanks to the recent launch of legitimate online services combined with the increasing availability of technology and mobile handsets we are experiencing an increasing demand for digital music, while our physical market remains significant. I look forward to working with our international team to capitalise on these positive trends in South Africa and maximise local access to our world-class repertoire”.