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Warner Music To Lay Off 10% Of Global Workforce

9 February 2024 | 11:51 am | Mary Varvaris

The majority of layoffs will affect Warner Music Group’s owned and operated media properties, including Uproxx and HipHopDX and social media publisher IMGN.

Warner Music Group

Warner Music Group (Supplied)

According to Variety, Warner Music Group will cut 10% of its workforce – approximately 600 people – CEO Robert Kyncl wrote in a memo released to staff yesterday. The move to “double down on core business” is being made in the coming weeks.

The layoffs are part of a plan to “free up more funds to invest in music and accelerate our growth for the next decade,” Kyncl wrote in the memo.

The majority of layoffs will affect Warner Music Group’s owned and operated media properties, including music publications Uproxx and HipHopDX and social media publisher IMGN, as well as corporate and other support functions.

Some affected employees have already been told the news, but the “vast majority” will be informed by September 2024. Warner is in the “exclusive process” for the potential sale of its publications, with more news to come soon. The record label will also “wind down” content released by IMGN.

“To the people who will be leaving us: you deserve a heartfelt thank you for your hard work and dedication,” Kyncl wrote in the memo. “We’re fortunate that you’ve been part of the team. We’ll be moving as thoughtfully and respectfully as possible, so you have the critical information you need, and we’ll support you through this transition.”

Warner is a successful record label, with five of its artists and six of its songwriters currently making the top 10 of the Billboard 100. The company has grown 11% in the last quarter, as shown in its latest report, Kyncl wrote.

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Projected savings following the layoffs are at $200 million USD annually by the end of September 2025. Kyncl added, “The majority of these savings will be reinvested, putting more money behind the music.”

The Warner layoffs follow recent news from Universal Music Group, in which the label announced it was reportedly planning to lay off hundreds of employees worldwide across the first quarter of 2024.

In a statement provided to The Music, a spokesperson for Universal did not rule out the cuts having an impact on their Australian division. “We continue to position UMG to accelerate its leadership in music’s most promising growth areas and drive its transformation to capitalise on them,” they said.

“Over the past several years, we have been investing in future growth – building our e-commerce and D2C operations, expanding geographically, and leveraging new technologies. While we maintain our industry-leading investments in A&R and artist development, we are creating efficiencies in other areas of the business so we can remain nimble and responsive to the dynamic market while realising the benefits of our scale.”