According to reports, the Warner Music layoff will not impact initiatives central to the company’s future, including Web3 and AI.
Despite firing 270 employees on Wednesday, Warner Music Group’s layoff will likely spare staff in the company’s Web3 and AI-focused endeavors. The record label considers these emerging tech initiatives central to its future and intends to keep them around much longer. In a company memo detailing the layoff, Warner Music told staff that it was reallocating resources to Web3 and AI projects.
Warner Music has steadfastly pursued partnerships and pilot schemes with several Web3-native companies and projects in the last eighteen months. These include leading non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea, digital fashion startup DressX, metaverse platform The Sandbox, and Polygon-based NFT music platform LGND Music. Inside sources explain that Warner Music’s next phase specifically leans toward leveraging decentralized tech for artist and songwriter development. Furthermore, the New York-based record label conglomerate also seeks future experimentations with artificial intelligence.
According to reports, Warner Music’s new CEO Robert Kyncl has a very tech-driven leadership approach. The former YouTube chief business officer believes embracing cutting-edge technology is just as pivotal to Warner Music as it was to the video-sharing platform. YouTube recently intensified its commitment to Web3 tie-ins with non-fungible tokens and the broader metaverse.
CEO Explains Warner Music Layoff Necessary for Web3, AI Pivot
Early yesterday, Warner Music laid off about 4% of its staff force in a move deemed necessary to secure the company’s future. In an email to employees, Kyncl said:
“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. Consistent with this direction, we’ve made the tough decision to reduce our global team by approximately 270 people, or about 4%.”
The CEO also added that Warner Music would cut down on discretionary spending and open positions to attain additional flexibility. Furthermore, Kyncl expressed optimism about the multinational entertainment company’s future prospects in its industry.
In addition, he stressed that Warner Music is preparing for a new growth phase that combines technology and creativity. Kyncl said the music business offers endless new possibilities as there is more interaction from fans. He added that the label’s reach is expanding and is birthing new business models.
However, Kyncl also admitted it was tough letting “talented colleagues” go and remained appreciative of the efforts of affected staff. He suggested that Warner Music would establish a consultation period to ease the transition for downsized employees. He also admitted that the transition would be tough and promised support to affected personnel.
According to a company annual report last September, Warner Music had a global headcount of approximately 6,200 employees.
Warner Music Group is a globally-renowned record label that is home to several famous music artists. These include Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, Madonna, Dua Lipa, Lizzo, Bruno Mars, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
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