Music News

‘A new chapter’: Warner Music Group opens new Berlin creative hub

Warner Music Group has opened a brand new creative hub in Berlin, with co-presidents of Warner Music Central Europe Doreen Schimk and Fabian Drebes hailing the launch as “a new chapter” for the company.

The new hub encompasses both Warner Music Central Europe and Warner Chappell Music Germany. It is located on the top floor of the historic Schicklerhaus building, which was built in the late 19th century and is situated in the centre of Berlin. The hub features an live performance space, four rooftop terraces, and collaboration rooms featuring the latest technology, including Dolby Atmos® immersive sound.  

The opening of the new Berlin hub marks the culmination of a prolonged period of success for Warner Music Group in Germany. This year, Warner Music Central Europe and Warner Chappell Music Germany broke records with the single Komet by Udo Lindenberg and Apache 207 spending 21 weeks at No. 1 in the official German Singles Charts. 

Singer-songwriter Ayliva, a Warner Chappell Music songwriter distributed by ADA/WM Central Europe, also became the biggest artist on Spotify Germany in August 2023. 

Warner Music Central Europe currently holds a 45% market share in the Official GfK Albums Charts, with nine albums in the Top 20 and three singles in the Top 10.  Last week, Katja Krasavice's album Ein Herz für Bitchestopped the albums chart, while WM Central Europe also claimed three of the Top 5 and five of the Top 10 albums.

Warner Chappell Music Germany is currently the number one domestic publisher in Germany. In the first half of 2023, Warner Chappell Music occupied six positions in Germany‘s Top 10 singles chart, as compiled by GfK Entertainment. 

With the new space, Warner Music Central Europe and Warner Chappell Music promise to ‘reaffirm their commitment to discovering and supporting local artists, songwriters and other creative professionals in Germany’. However, Warner Music Central Europe's headquarters will remain in Hamburg, where it has been based for over 50 years. 

The Berlin team will also work closely with colleagues in Warner Music Group's more than 70 locations worldwide to build global bridges for its local artists and songwriters. 

Robert Kyncl (pictured), CEO, Warner Music Group, said of the launch: “This beautifully restored building, at the heart of one of the world’s most vibrant cities, is a symbol of Warner Music Group’s commitment to super-serve our artists and songwriters. Along with our revitalised offices in Hamburg, these facilities will help our teams in Germany to keep developing our collaborative, innovative approach to music.”

Schimk and Drebes also commented: "Today we are writing a new chapter for Warner Music in Central Europe. Berlin has a rich musical history and cultural scene, and we look forward to working more closely with artists and partners in the region. We see this new space, alongside our revitalised Hamburg headquarters, as a sign of our commitment to local players in the creative and cultural scene, and to the importance of Berlin as a European metropolis and a location for the music industry. Here in this historic building, in partnership with our colleagues in Warner Chappell Music, we’ve developed a creative and inspiring place with a unique view over Berlin. This history connects us and creativity drives us.  It's time for new impulses and synergies."  

Lars Karlsson, managing director, Warner Chappell Music Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and Scandinavia, and Natascha Augustin, VP, Warner Chappell Music Germany, add jointly: “We’re excited to be expanding our presence in Berlin and sharing a collaborative space with our Recorded Music colleagues. Our songwriters from around the world are drawn to Berlin as vibrant, exciting city at the crossroads of Europe whose atmosphere fuels their creativity. Now we have a world-class hub where we can host them when they’re in town. And we’ve long been committed to supporting local songwriters of all genres, playing our part in the city’s cultural renaissance. This move into the redeveloped Schicklerhaus in the heart of Berlin is a natural next step for us.”

Headliner spoke to both Drebes and Schimk and Augustin and Karlsson on the day of the grand opening to find out how they will be utilising the new space to their advantage, as well as their respective approaches to A&R and breaking new talent. 

The Berlin hub comes a year after Warner Music Spain and Warner Chappell Music launched The Music Station in Madrid. Also designed as a creative hub, it consists of performances spaces, studio facilities, performance areas and more. Find out more here.