Warner Music Group has been rumored to be up for sale for the past few months. Seeing that they recently experienced their 8th straight quarterly loss last month, such rumors aren’t so hard to believe. However, who might be putting in a bid for the label might come as a bit of a surprise.
Digital Music News is reporting that one of the groups rumored to be bidding for WMG is a consortium that includes California billionaire Ron Burkle, supermarket magnate Doug Teitelbaum, and co-founder of Napster Sean Parker. Apparently, the group is the only bidder interested in purchasing both WMG’s recording and publishing units, though this is still unconfirmed.
What makes this news interesting is the inclusion of Sean Parker (yes, the person who Justin Timberlake portrayed in The Social Network) for two reasons. First, and most obvious, is the irony that one of the individuals behind opening the door to illegal file-sharing is actually looking into purchasing the very thing he helped destroyed (a major label). But what’s probably even more interesting is the second reason: Parker is also currently an advisor and investor in Spotify.
WMG has been one of the remaining labels to hold out on an agreement with the European music subscription service. Granted, as Digital Music News points out, Parker’s contribution to the bid will probably be considerably low compared to Burkle and Teitelbaum’s. Parker’s connection, though, does leave one to think about what these bidders have in mind for WMG, as well as what it may mean for Spotify. We’ll keep you posted if more develops.