Warner Music gains major stake in Taisuke

MUMBAI: Warner Music has acquired a 70 per cent stake in Taisuke, a leading artist services company in Japan.

Taisuke was founded in 1991 by Taisuke Morimoto as an all-rights music company with activities spanning artist management, recorded music and copyright administration. Taisuke currently has contracts for artists including rock band Ulfuls and singer / songwriter Bonnie Pink, along with newer acts such as Rock’a’Trench and Superfly. The company’s roster includes talent signed to Warner Music Japan as well as other labels.

Taisuke becomes part of the Warner Music Japan family as of 1 October 2007. The company will continue to be led by Morimoto, who has developed a reputation as one of Japan’s most respected and successful talent managers, renowned for his ability to work creatively with artists to build and develop their careers. Morimoto will work closely with Warner Music Japan president Takashi Yoshida. Both will report to Warner Music Asia Pacific president Lachie Rutherford.

Yoshida said, “This is an important strategic investment for us as we continue to transform our business and expand the range of services we can offer. Not only does this enable us to form broader partnerships with our artists, bringing someone of Mr Morimoto’s calibre on board also strengthens our expertise in areas we plan to develop further, such as live performance, ticketing, merchandise and endorsement.”

Rutherford said, “We are proud to be working with Mr Morimoto and his team to build on the excellent relationship that has already been forged between Taisuke and Warner Music Japan. Bringing these two pioneering companies closer together makes our company an attractive home for artists looking to reach their fans in new and innovative ways.”

Morimoto said, “This is an opportunity for both Warner Music and Taisuke to build business together and to benefit our artists through the use of new business models in the Japanese marketplace.”

Japan is the world’s second largest music market, and is one of the few countries this year to have experienced growth in revenues from recorded music. This increase has been fuelled by the increased in uptake in digital music, which makes up around 11per cent of music sales in Japan.

This agreement is the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions and partnerships that have enabled Warner Music to expand the range of services it can offer its artists, as well as strengthening its global footprint. In the past year, the company has unveiled investments and alliances that help it to reach new audiences around the world, including South Korea, Russia, China, Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.