Label news: Warner takes on Naxos in distribution war

Label news: Warner takes on Naxos in distribution war


norman lebrecht

October 21, 2015

Distribution of small labels is dominated by Naxos and its subsidiary, Select. Now Warner are grabbing a slice.

Press release:


pappano aida

For the first time, Warner Classics is extending its global distribution and marketing infrastructure to third-party labels. From November 2015, the company will offer a comprehensive, tailored classical service to select partners including orchestras, artists and independent labels.


Warner Classics Label Services will manage logistics in conjunction with Warner Music Group’s established international distribution company, Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) Worldwide, while offering the additional support of specialised classical marketing and promotional initiatives. This new venture has been conceived as a streamlined, one-stop approach for carefully chosen classical brands bringing a complementary artistic profile to Warner Classics’ roster, which includes the former EMI Classics and Virgin Classics (now Erato) catalogues.


From November 2015, EuroArts Music will be the first company to join forces with Warner Classics Label Services, initially forphysical distribution in the US and parts of Europe, with the UK, France and Benelux following in 2016. Founded in 1979, EuroArts is one of the world’s leading independent producers and rights owners of audio-visual classical music programmes. ..

“In an ever-changing market environment, Warner Classics is responding to a strong demand for dedicated label services with a classical focus,” said Markus Petersen, Senior Vice President Global Marketing & Operations, Warner Classics and Erato. “We are offering distribution, product management and promotional solutions for high-quality labels, as well as selected orchestras, artists and broadcast partners whose products and content present synergies with Warner Classics brand values. To this end, we are delighted to represent EuroArts and its prestigious audio-visual catalogue as well as its ongoing filmed projects.”

Eliah Seton, President of Alternative Distribution Alliance Worldwide, added: “We are excited to join the forces of ADA Worldwide and Warner Classics in addressing this growing opportunity in the marketplace. ADA will bring to bear its international strength and expertise in distribution and services, to partner with Warner Classics in providing the best possible representation for independent classical music labels across the globe.”


  • Ricky says:

    Would it be possible to provide an English translation of parts of this?

    What the f**k are “partners whose products and content present synergies with Warner Classics brand values”

    • CDH says:

      And beware any company that claims to present “solutions.” Check out how many you have seen recently who claim to be in the “solutions” business.

      Tired, hackneyed, cliched writing. Usually covers imprecise, and therefore infinitely malleable, “missions,” to use another favourite buzzword.

  • erich says:

    ….and what the hell is Pappano doing there and who’s the suit?

  • Holger H. says:

    Same old. What a nasty business, on every corner an ambusher wanting you money on your way to the market.
    Over are the days where Big bosses could not only be bosses, but cultural entrepreneurs and ambassadors, understanding the need of their classical subsidiaries to be run only half like a cookie factory, but the other important half more like a prestigious cultural institution.

    The paradigm probably tilted over in favor of shareholder value and cookie bakeries, when the bosses themselves did not like classical music anymore.

  • Dave says:

    Curiously, the article at (among others) refers only to DVD and bluray marketing,

    Even so, it all smacks of the suits at Warners wanting to bully their way into a “growing opportunity in the marketplace” that others, and not just the Naxos/Select axis, have developed.