Warner Music poaches Spotify’s US head of catalog… as catalog’s dominance of streaming retains rising

You need to keep your wits about it in this business on a Friday: it’s a day when great gamers can spread news that can be much bigger than it first appears.

And so it is with the Warner Music Group, which this afternoon released a rather casual press release with the headline: Warner Music group appoints Andre Torres as Senior Vice President, Catalog Development and marketing for Recorded Music Global Catalog Division.

Some guy is hired by some department, Yaddah Yaddah, and on through the weekend, right?

But there’s more to this story.

Andre Torres was poached by Warner from his previous position at Spotify – where he was Head of Catalog, Artist and label partnerships, North America.

Los Angeles-based Torres has been leading Spotify’s industry-focused catalog business in the US and Canada since last year, after joining Daniel Eks Green Machine last summer.

And as any attentive MBW reader will tell you, the past year is precisely the period in which catalog music has significantly increased its dominance when listening to streaming services.

This is particularly true of the United States, where a recent MRC Data report showed that catalog music’s share of album-equivalent music consumption in the United States rose to 66.4% in the first half of 2021.

That number rose from 63.9% in the same period of 2020 and by over 5% – from 60.8% – over the same period of 2018.

(The usual caveat here: According to MRC data, “catalog” reflects anything that was published for more than 18 months before a consumer made a purchase and / or printed a reproduction.)

As SVP of Catalog Development and Marketing at Warner Music, Torres reports to Kevin Gore, President of Warner Music, Global Catalog, Recorded music.

Prior to joining Spotify in 2020, Torres served as Urban Vice President for more than three years. employed Catalog at Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) where he oversaw the strategy and execution of A&R, sales, branding and marketing campaigns for urban music.

In addition, Torres was the founder, editor and publisher of Wax Poetics for 15 years and built the quarterly music magazine into a multi-tiered brand. He also served as executive editor for the lyrics website Genius.

“The Warner Music Global Catalog team is at the forefront of the industry and continues to find more innovative and exciting ways to market their artists and their music, tell their stories, and build their global following.”

André Torres, Spotify

Talking about his new move to Warner, Torres said, “During my time at Spotify, Genius and of course Wax Poetics, I’ve been fortunate to work with Warner labels and take a close look at what a great job they are doing for their artists.

“The Warner Music Global Catalog team is at the forefront of the industry and continues to find more innovative and exciting ways to market their artists and music, tell their stories, and build their global following. I can’t say enough about how excited I am to be part of the Warner Music family. “

Kevin Gore commented, “We are very excited to have someone with Andre’s extensive streaming, labeling and entrepreneurial experience on our Global Catalog team.

“In this role, it is a must to be an expert in building narratives that are rooted in both deep knowledge of music history and the current cultural landscape. André is that and more. He’s seen all sides of the business and this experience will be crucial as we continue to develop top notch, one-of-a-kind campaigns and projects that help our artists reach even more music fans around the world. “

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“In this role, it is a must to be an expert in building narratives that are rooted in both deep knowledge of music history and the current cultural landscape. Andre is that and more. “

Kevin Gore, Warner Music

In his new role, Torres will lead one of Warner Recorded Music’s catalog content development and marketing teams. Working closely with frontline labels and artists, he will develop new catalog opportunities in the areas of A&R, content development, consumption and marketing, including digital and physical catalog campaigns.

The hiring of Torres completes WMG’s Global Catalog content leadership team, which includes previously announced catalog development and marketing SVPs Andrea Craig, Ingrid Erickson, Alicia Yaffe, Nigel Reeve and Mike Engstrom.

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