A source close to the matter has revealed that all 270 people involved in Warner Music Group’s Web3 and AI-related activities will be retained. This represents around 4% of the company’s global personnel. In previous metaverse news, we covered movies and web3, and now it is time for music industry.
Notable artists that have signed with the label include Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, Lizzo, Madonna, Dua Lipa, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Robert Kyncl, formerly of YouTube, took over as CEO and announced widespread layoffs to employees.
Warner Music Group supports AI trials
In an email to Warner Music staff on Wednesday morning, Kyncl reportedly wrote, “In my discussions with our leaders across the company, many of them came to the same conclusion—that to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us, we need to make some hard choices in order to evolve.” This was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
One insider at Warner Music Group disclosed that the label’s earlier Web3 efforts and future trials with AI will be prioritized as “new tech initiatives” and “new capabilities for artist and songwriter growth” in the company’s next phase.
Throughout the past 18 months, Warner Music has actively sought out partnerships and pilot projects with a wide range of Web3-native initiatives and businesses, such as NFT marketplace OpenSea, NFT music platform LGND Music on Polygon, startup for digital fashion DressX, and metaverse platform The Sandbox.
Warner Music’s decision to Web3
Although earlier reports may have suggested that such initiatives were appraisals of Web3’s potential for future development and distribution of music, the disclosure from Wednesday more clearly paints those experimental agreements as Warner Music’s preferred path of action.
According to the same source familiar with the situation, Kyncl is a very tech-focused boss and believes that embracing cutting-edge technology is just as important to the future of Warner Music as it was to YouTube. In contrast, YouTube recently bolstered its commitment to Web3 ties with NFTs and the metaverse.
As a result of the persistent increase in interest rates and the worsening status of the economy, several internet and media corporations were forced to make the difficult decision on Wednesday to either discontinue funding their experimental Web3 divisions or lay off a large number of employees.
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