Warner Music Web3 Moves Could Still Be in Play Despite Layoffs

Amid layoffs, Warner Music said it will reallocate resources to “new tech initiatives,” which may be good news for its Web3 ambitions

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Chrispictures/Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks

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Media giant Warner Music Group plans to lay off 4% of its global workforce, meaning 270 employees would lose their jobs, but positions related to Web3 could be retained.

CEO Robert Kyncl told employees it would reallocate resources towards “new tech initiatives,” and that the company will reduce discretionary spending, according to a memo seen by Variety. 

The group is the third-largest label in the global music industry and represents some of the world’s best-known clients including Beyonce, Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay. Kyncl didn’t specify which divisions would be cutting jobs, but he said the move did not indicate a “blanket cost-cutting exercise.”

“Every decision has been made thoughtfully by our operators around the world, who considered the specific needs, skills, and priorities of each label, division, and territory, in order to set us up for long-term success,” he said. Blockworks has reached out for comment. 

Kyncl added that “new business models are constantly emerging,” creating a path for innovative opportunities. Warner Music would “likely” keep employees working in the group’s Web3 and AI initiatives, Decrypt reported.

Warner Music’s UK arm separately announced a string of strategic changes on Wednesday. Among those updates, the brand said that London-based executive Sebastian Simone will “continue his innovative work in Web3 and the metaverse” as Vice President of Community.

Under Simone’s leadership, Warner Music announced the launch of a Web3 record label called “Probably A Label” in collaboration with TV chef Jeremy Fall in October. The label sold out a collection of 5,555 NFT access passes at launch in seven minutes, according to Digital Music News.

Among other Web3 collaborations, Warner Music partnered with NFT marketplace OpenSea in September to expand engagement with artist fan communities. The company also banded together with Polygon and digital collectible marketplace LGND Music to connect with fans for curated experiences.


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