Warner Music Group Sells Remaining Shares in Spotify

Major label had previously sold 75 percent of its shares in May

Last Updated: August 7, 2018 @ 7:42 AM

Warner Music Group announced Tuesday that it has sold its remaining shares in the music streaming service Spotify.

In May, WMG sold 75 percent of its shares for an approximate $400 million, according to Recode.

Warner Music CEO Steve Cooper said on Tuesday’s second-quarter earnings call that it had sold its remaining shares for $104 million. Of the $504 million which the company received for 100 percent of the stock, $126 million of that total will be reflected on artists’ August and September royalty statements throughout the world, according to Variety.

“While Apple and Spotify continue to grow their global subscriber numbers, Amazon and YouTube are both off to a great start with their premium services,” Cooper said on the call, per Variety. “This increased competition is good news for our business, and we’re happy to see other large tech companies, such as Facebook, begin to recognize the true value that music brings to their platforms.”

Despite the label’s selling its remaining shares, Cooper said WMG still has confidence in Spotify’s future, and that the sale instead was reflective of WMG’s desire to not remain long-term shareholders in the company.

“I think at the moment our valuation reflects what we believe is fair,” Cooper said. “The speculation about [whether] Universal Music Group [will sell any of its equity] remains speculation at the moment, and with respect to public versus private, to the best of my knowledge [Warner parent company] Access prefers private, so I think that while we’re seeing a lot of interesting movement in the world of music. The only one that’s really materialized is Spotify, and the valuation that they received was expected, and good for them.”

Last week, Sony Music announced that it sold half its shares for a total of $750 million. Sony Music had the largest amount of shares in Spotify among the major labels.