We are thrilled to announce that Stu Bergen – CEO, International and Global Commercial Services at Warner Music Group (WMG) – is speaking at the Cable Factory, Helsinki, in November. Just like we do at Slush Music, Stu sees entrepreneurs in the spotlight of the future of the music industry.
Stu has had a long and successful career in the music industry. He joined WMG in 2006, after previously working for labels including Columbia Music, Epic Records, and Island Records, and he took up his current role in February 2016. Stu has played a major part in helping expand WMG’s global presence, which makes his expertise and insight on the current industry especially valuable.
We asked for his take on the current state of the music business. “I’m so encouraged by all the incredible music coming through, across so many genres. I love that music is truly a global phenomenon in the streaming world. Ultimately, there’s potential for the industry to be bigger than it’s ever been. But only if we continue to take risks and invest in great artists, as well as tackling issues such as the ‘value gap’,” says Stu.
Stu has helped spearhead WMG’s global acquisitions of companies operating in emerging markets such as China, Poland and Russia, as well as those based in more established economies such as the Netherlands and Sweden. At MIDEM 2016 Stu spoke about this strategy and some key elements of WMG’s success. His philosophy of investing in local artists, as well as empowering local executives, while growing a global operation, is crucial. We think that everyone could learn from this approach in mind when expanding their businesses, especially in the music industry.
Our mission at Slush Music is to turn the spotlight on entrepreneurs, and to build an environment where they could discuss the future of music to find ways to grow together with music industry professionals. We see that the role of the entrepreneurs is essential, and gladly we’re not alone with our thoughts. Stu sees the role as “crucial” and highlights that it is crucial now and that it will be in the future. “All of the greatest music executives have been commercial as well as creative pioneers, and at Warner we’re very focused on maintaining and expanding that tradition. At the same time, we’re more open minded than ever about new business models and technologies from outside the industry. We’re constantly looking for start-ups that may have something new that could benefit our artists and their music.”, he continues.
We aim to build synergies between established businesses and entrepreneurs at Slush Music. In building those, and in finding ways to collaborate, the role of speakers such as Stu is critical. Sharing knowledge and pointing out what actually matters when looking for future success is vital. What else is there left to say other than ‘welcome Stu!’