Warner Music Australasia is the Australian division of the Warner Music Group. The company's operations also include distribution to New Zealand.
In 1969, Warner Bros. Records decided to branch out and WEA International was born.
The first territory established was Canada, the second was Australia.
Paul Turner began the company with five staff members in July 1970, the official opening happening at the Menzies Hotel, Sydney on October 1, 1970. The company was then based in Riley Street, Darlinghurst and had three major labels, Warner Bros. Records, Elektra Records and Atlantic Records.
A year later Warner Bros. Records worldwide (including Australia) changed names to Kinney Music. The monopoly laws in America at the time did not allow the three labels to trade as one, and so the 'umbrella' name of Kinney Music came into being.
For these first two years, the Australian Record Company (ARC), now known as Sony Music handled the Australian distribution.
Paul Turner's first year budget was one million dollars. This was achieved in seven months, with the first year's sales coming in at just under two million dollars.
By October 1, 1972, US monopoly laws had also changed and WEA (the first initial of each of the three main labels) Records was born. From this time, WEA Records Australia had its own sales and distribution arm. Adding a warehouse to the offices forced a location change to George Place, Artarmon, New South Wales.
WEA Records went on to become a major player in the Australian recording industry, through international successes of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin and the Doors.
The company was renamed Warner Music Australia in 1990, and split into two divisions - WEA Records and East West Records. More focus was being placed on domestic signings, and phenomenal success was achieved by INXS, Cold Chisel, 1927 and Jenny Morris, to name a few.
Warner Music also invested in Brisbane bands Regurgitator and Pretty Violet Stain during the wave of Brisbane music becoming more commercially acceptable in the mid to late 1990s. Regurgitator became Warner Music's first direct signing and remained with the company until 2004. In 2005, Sire Records invested in Brisbane band The Veronicas who went straight to number 2 with their debut single "4 Ever" and album "The Secret Life Of The Veronicas". Later that year, Warner Music Australia bought out the ailing Festival-Mushroom Records for only $12 million and closed the label down but retaining the use of the Mushroom label for a couple of acts like Eskimo Joe and Gabriella Cilmi (who subsequently got signed to Island Records in the UK, one of the first Australian acts to do so).
As of 2010, the company continues to thrive with artists like Lisa Mitchell, Evermore (the New Zealand band), Kylie Minogue, and newly signed Brisbane act Dead Letter Circus.
This list contains artists signed directly to Warner Music Australia.
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