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Label News (more headlines) 02-22-2014

Warner Music Group And Shazam Announce Landmark Strategic Alliance

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Warner Music Group (WMG) and Shazam announced an innovative strategic alliance that will discover new acts and sign them to a Shazam branded label under WMG, and that will collaborate in enhanced marketing across WMG's roster of artists.

The global partnership will create a ground-breaking connection between music fans, emerging artists, and WMG's A&R teams. The Shazam label imprint will identify unsigned artists for support and development by combining WMG's global A&R expertise with Shazam's proprietary fan activity data. At the same time, the app's unique promotional channels will empower artists to directly engage with fans who Shazamed them, enabling fans to continue to champion the artist they helped discover.

"By partnering with Shazam, a brand which is synonymous with music discovery for fans all around the world, we have forged a potent proposition: the first crowd-sourced, big data record label," said Rob Wiesenthal, COO/Corporate, Warner Music Group. "While data and crowd sourced analyses will never be a substitute for the expertise and instincts of our A&R professionals, we do believe the information we obtain for this new label will provide very useful signals that will bolster our ability to find the stars of tomorrow."

In addition, WMG's family of labels will offer new ways for their rosters of established and up-and-coming acts to connect with Shazam's enormous community of 420 million users in 200 countries. WMG labels will receive enhanced deep data on fan behavior for WMG acts and be able to launch specially tailored promotional campaigns. In turn, WMG will provide Shazam with exclusive content and other benefits to augment the user experience, providing even more reasons for fans to make the app their destination for news about their favorite acts.

Initial projects activated under the alliance have already included Shazam's first video premiere with Chromeo's 'Come Alive' and Shazam's first single premiere via its News Feed with Wiz Khalifa's 'We Dem Boyz'. Additionally, more than half of Shazam's record-breaking 700,000 tags throughout this year's Super Bowl happened during the Halftime Show when fans were offered an exclusive Bruno Mars video to expand Bruno's engagement with his fans. The high level of activity was further amplified through WMG's Clear Channel alliance, maximizing both Clear Channel's broadcast stations and its iHeartRadio digital platform, including on-air and social network promotion from stations such as New York's Z-100, KIIS-FM in Los Angeles and Boston's KISS-108 FM. Further Shazam projects are planned with releases from Jason Derulo and Hunter Hayes.

"We are excited to enter into a next-generation partnership with Warner Music Group. Every minute of the day, people around the world Shazam over 10,000 songs, giving us incredible insight into what songs are trending and allowing us to discover future hits. Combining Shazam's proprietary data with WMG's A&R expertise will yield fantastic results," said Rich Riley, CEO, Shazam. "We are also eager to use our deep data and advanced promotional solutions combined with exclusive content from WMG to help artists engage with their fans and sell more music."

Mike Caren, President, Worldwide A&R, WMG, said "Millions of fans use the Shazam app to discover music, so when a song debuts strongly on the Shazam chart it is an exciting, early indication that it has hit potential. By deepening our relationship with Shazam, this landmark partnership will complement our existing commitment to A&R, create new talent-spotting possibilities, and expand our range of innovative artist development activities."

Wiesenthal added, "We are constantly seeking out boundary-breaking means of taking our A&R and promotional strategies to the next level, and this alliance creates unique and meaningful opportunities for both music fans and artists."

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