We recently sat down with Alec Sharpe, Head of Business Development & Operations at our client Warner Chappell Production Music, to talk global expansion, industry challenges, and tech innovation.
Let’s kick off with Warner Chappell Production Music’s recent expansion to Brazil. What was the impetus behind that move and what does it mean for the company?
Brazil is a vast, diverse market with some of the largest media organizations in the world. Production is booming with more and more international companies building their presence in Brazil to serve local audiences. We want to be a part of that.
Warner Chappell has teams across South America, but it’s our first local office for our production music division, and one we’re particularly proud of and excited about with Renato Moraes at the helm. It’s a great opportunity to collaborate more with our Warner Chappell Brazil team members, and work with local artists and producers to create authentic Brazilian music. This will allow us to better serve our clients there and share that music with the rest of the world.
Is further global expansion on WCPM’s agenda?
We’re always exploring options to grow and expand our business, and increasing our footprint is a consideration as part of that, where it makes sense. With the changing landscape in content production and media consolidation, we see a need from some of our clients to have an expanded presence to match their workflows and service their teams wherever they might be. South America is a step in that direction, with more to come.
What sets WCPM apart from other companies in this space?
As part of Warner Music Group, we have the backing and resources of a major music publisher and record label, with the global infrastructure that comes with that. But we also have flexibility to adapt and change, which creates a lot of exciting opportunities to evolve in parallel with the wider industry at large. We have production teams working out of London, Paris, Hamburg, and now Brazil to bolster our international repertoire. On top of that, we have two full-time recording studios and production teams between Hollywood and Nashville, providing an impressive capacity for custom music services, scoring, and top-notch album production.
Warner Chappell and Warner Music Group also have a workplace culture that I think is unmatched, and the best I’ve experienced across my career. There’s been so much change and progress within Warner during my time here, and it’s been a privilege to be a part of that.
What role does tech innovation play at WCPM?
An important one! We’re in the process of transitioning to being a much more tech-focused business, and we’re excited about the changes ahead for Warner Chappell and Warner Music Group with Robert Kyncl as CEO. We want to simplify our production music business and be better equipped to adapt to the changing needs of the marketplace. Tech innovation provides the tools to do so.
“There is more content, more platforms, more interactivity, more media, and more viewership than ever before, which all impacts other areas across deal making, royalties, rights, and technology.”
What are some of the key challenges and issues to address across the production music sector?
Navigating the evolving landscape in content production, consumption, and the ongoing transition from broadcast to streaming is always a challenge, but also an opportunity. There is more content, more platforms, more interactivity, more media, and more viewership than ever before, which all impacts other areas across deal making, royalties, rights, and technology. There’s a need to preserve and build existing models of revenue while also exploring and navigating new ones. I’m optimistic and excited for what’s ahead and working through it with our teams around the world.
“Technology and new tools are playing an important role in how we evolve, along with adapting the way we operate to better fit the needs of our current and future clients.”
How is WCPM evolving to adapt to new and future opportunities in the media space?
Technology and new tools are playing an important role in how we evolve, along with adapting the way we operate to better fit the needs of our current and future clients. We’re looking beyond our core business to include custom music services, joint ventures and partnerships, and the DSPs, along with finding new opportunities to collaborate with the wider Warner Chappell and Warner Music Group teams. We’re also focusing on some of the newer ways people create and consume media, and how we play a part in that. But it all starts with the music, and we have one of the best catalogs out there.
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