By Andy Malt | Published on Tuesday 24 May 2022
Warner Music Poland has taken a stake in one of the country’s leading live music companies, concert and festival promoter Big Idea, which is very much focused on the burgeoning Polish hip hop scene.
The deal will result in a number of partnerships between the two companies, including the launch of new festival brands, the expansion of Big Idea’s merchandise business, and the minting of some NFTs around shows promoted by Big Idea because, well, you know, that’s a thing now, innit?
Generally speaking the major music rights companies have never got massively involved in the live side of the music business – even in the 2000s when the record industry was slumping and live was booming – while the big players in the live sector have generally avoided getting too involved in recordings and music publishing.
However, that’s not to say there hasn’t been plenty of dabbling along the way, and the majors do sometimes invest in or acquire live music businesses in certain markets, like Warner has done here.
Given both labels and promoters do sometimes get involved in the merchandise and brand partnership activities of the artists they work with, there is a definite crossover, and so investments in live music companies by the majors can result in some interesting collaborations between the two sides of the business.
Although, that said, often when the majors get involved in live music, those live divisions end up operating quite autonomously, meaning there are fewer label/promoter collaborations than you might expect. But maybe joining up around some NFT nonsense is the way to get long lasting collaborations between labels and promoters off the ground.
“We’re always looking to do more for our artists and this deal will enable us to do just that”, says Warner Music Poland MD Adrian Ciepichał. “We’re going to collaborate with Big Idea to pour rocket fuel on the success of individual artists and grow the wider local hip-hop scene. I’m looking forward to welcoming new artists to our local roster and helping them find a wider audience in Poland and internationally”.
Adds Big Idea CEO Sławek Ostruszka: “This partnership will help accelerate the growth of Big Idea and benefit the whole hip hop community in Poland. Fans will be able to enjoy even bigger, better shows and more artists will get the opportunity to make a huge impact with fans. As live music emerges from the shadow of the pandemic, this feels like the right time to go for growth”.