Warner Music Group’s A&R Costs Say a Lot About How Much Labels Need to Spend on Artists in Today’s Music Industry

WMG is about to go public. If I was investing, I’d watch this number closely

At least three of the artists involved are not on simple, straight-up deals with major record companies. Drake and Future’s “Life Is Good” is signed to Sony’s Epic, but via Future’s own label, Freebandz; Nicki Minaj’s “Yikes” is claimed by Universal’s Republic Records, but via both Cash Money and Young Money — the latter being the imprint founded by Lil Wayne in 2007; Justin Bieber’s “Intentions” is out on another Universal label, Def Jam, but in tandem with Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG), the label co-owned by Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, and Usher.