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Warner Music acquires 300 Entertainment

By | Published on Friday 17 December 2021

300 Entertainment

Warner Music has – as expected – acquired 300 Entertainment, the music company co-founded by Lyor Cohen eight years ago.

The deal will see another of its co-founders, and the company’s current CEO, Kevin Liles, appointed as Chair and CEO of both 300 and the major’s Elektra Music Group division. He previously worked at Warner alongside Cohen back in the 2000s.

“At 300, we’re all about freedom”, says Liles. “The freedom to create, the freedom to be intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs, the freedom to make music that changes the world. Independence is in our DNA and the team at Warner is like family, which makes this a natural evolution for us to do bigger family business”.

In addition to Liles having previously worked at Warner, 300 has also had a long distribution partnership with the major. Hence all that “family” nonsense.

“[Warner is] the perfect home for 300 artists and our team, as we invest in our independent vision and grow our global impact”, he insists. “They understand the value we place on independence, individuality and creativity. We’re going to accomplish amazing things together and take our artists and labels to a whole new global level”.

So, there you go. Everything is very much independent, despite 300 now being owned by a major music rights company. Please, everybody, do note that. Done it? Good.

The CEO of that major’s recorded music division, Max Lousada, says: “At Warner Music, the independent spirit is part of our story, our DNA, and our vision. We’re creating the environment for original artists, entrepreneurs, and labels to pioneer the future of music”.

“The 300 team has built an extraordinary brand, attracted a dynamic community of artists, and led the way for a new generation of labels”, he goes on. “We’ll bring their artists and team a whole universe of opportunities to ignite passionate fanbases and develop long-term careers. We’re very happy to welcome 300 fully into the Warner community of labels, and Kevin to his new role on our senior management team”.

Yeah, right, OK. Everyone’s independent. It’s all one big party where everyone is their own person. What does Lyor Cohen think though? We should know that, even if he’s not involved with the company anymore, having departed in 2016 when he joined YouTube.

“Wonderful to see a good idea realised”, says Cohen. “300 is a way of life and is in very good hands”. Phew, despite his independence, he’s on board.

When Cohen launched 300 in 2013 – having departed his executive position at Warner Music the previous year – the big idea behind the start-up music company was that it would be better suited to the digital age by staying small but working with big budgets. And it has indeed proven very successful with artists such as Megan Thee Stallion and Young Thug.

Now, of course, we all know that everyone is talking up just how very bloody independent 300 is going to remain. But we will see if a company set up to be more versatile than the majors can actually remain so now that it is part of a major.