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46_Warner Music Group

Yes, it’s a distant number two to Universal Music in total sales, and both labels are suffering revenue drops. But at Warner Music, the drops are small, on the order of 2% to 3%–and the company seems to have found a model for the future. Digital sales were up 39% last year (more than Universal’s), thanks in part to an MP3 effort launched in late 2007 that really got ramped up in 2008.

46_Warner Music Group

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Warner was aggressive with music social networks, including MySpace Music and an investment in iMeem, plus it partnered with Nokia to create an all-access music channel that lives on your phone for as long as you have it. Warner has also restructured the way it signs artists, turning itself into something like a venture capitalist for musicians.

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