Warner Music Group has sold their entire stake in streaming giant Spotify, which equates to $504 million. Variety reports the news was revealed in an earnings call on Tuesday morning (Aug 7).
Steve Cooper, CEO of Warner Music Group, revealed the sale will provide $126 million to artist accounts for their June 30 royalty statements. “In February 2016, we were the first major to announce a policy to share proceeds from equity in streaming services with artists,” Cooper shared.
Back in May, Sony Music revealed they sold 50% of their shares at $750 million. Merlin, an independent label, sold all of their shares for $125 million. Universal Music Group has not sold any of their shares as of yet.
“Just so there won’t be any misinterpretation about the rationale for our decision to sell, let me be clear: We’re a music company, and not, by our nature, long-term holders of publicly traded equity,” he said. “This sale has nothing to do with our view of Spotify’s future. We’re hugely optimistic about the growth of subscription streaming, we know it has only just begun to fulfill its potential for global scale. We fully expect Spotify to continue to play a major role in that growth.”
Cooper also did cite the growth of both Spotify and Apple Music, while acknowledging the growth of additional services of YouTube, Amazon and more.