(UPDATED) Is Warner Music about to go on a buying spree? As a private company with a deep pocketed owner, Access Industries, it's in a position to; and hiring Sony's Rob Wiesenthal as Warner's Chief Operating Officer signals that acquisitions are in the company's future, according to one major analyst.
"While at Sony, Wiesenthal helped Sony buy important assets in the music industry to give the electronics company a foothold in a new form of media. Warner may not be branching out quite so much, but it is certainly interested in expanding its music content rights and reclaiming some of its bygone profits."
What Will WMG Buy?
What kind of assets will Wisenthal hope to buy? There are still several pieces of the old EMI up for sale, as well as a rumored major label partnership for super hot indie Glassnote Records. Various publishing catalogs are also always being shopped, and could offer long term profits.
Then there's music tech... Avoiding a fighting over rights with other major labels rules out some possible acquisitions. But Wiesnthal could find value in artist services tech startups like Topspin, Root Music or BandsInTown. Then there's the hot live music sector - gig crowdfundinging, ticketing, online concerts and more - which dozens of startups are working to transform.