Warner Music Group recently acquired First Night Record which is an independent record label
First Night Record which releases West End and Broadway musical theatre cast recordings will now be overseen by WMG’s Arts Music Division, led by President Kevin Gore. Founded in 1984, the indie label first launched to fame following the release of Les Misérables.
John Craig, the co-founder of First Night will join the Arts Music Division under a multi-year consulting agreement to identify and record musical theatre productions in the UK.
According to Kevin Gore, President of WMG’s Arts Music arm, music streaming platforms currently “underserve” these genres.
“Older audiences always take longer to catch up with how people are consuming music. We identified early on that was going to happen with streaming. So, when we saw what was happening with pop and hip hop, we knew that classical, jazz, Broadway music was going to experience uplift a few years later.”
“I’ve known John Craig for more than two decades, and I’ve long admired him personally, the business he’s built and the fantastic reputation he’s developed over his 35 years running First Night Records,” she added.
First Night has recorded more than 150 productions, from small shows to large symphonic versions of blockbuster musicals.
Warner Music first launched its Arts Music arm two years ago. The division reportedly serves a market that brings in over $550 million each year. Warner’s Arts Music currently owns and operates several labels, including Sesame Street Records.