Warner Bros. Music Sell-Off?
There was an article in the Financial Times about Warner Bros. Discovery possibly selling off its music library as part of its post-merger debt restructuring.
It’s now behind a paywall—sorry. And I read it a few weeks ago, so I forget the details.
I don’t have any particular insight to add, though I do have the first-hand experience of navigating music rights to WB titles when we were doing the FSM catalog.
It was a labor-intensive experience because Warner Bros. Pictures sold off the Warner Bros. Records family—meaning anything that we wanted to do that already had an album on a WB label had to be licensed twice (from the record company and the film company).
This was on top of the fact that the M-G-M catalog had a preexisting deal with Rhino, which was also part of Warner Bros. Records.
It can be confusing to explain—sorry.
Unfortunately, these companies sell things without fully contemplating what they own. So things that really should be kept together end up being split up.
I was fortunate to have access to the WB library (libraries) at a time when the studio execs were able and willing to do small-money deals for boutique CD releases. They saw the value in having their music restored for future exploitation. We happily released hundreds of scores.
At the moment, everything is shut down until Warner Bros. Discovery can get its act together and invest in its resources again...which may never happen?
Who knows. Sad.