Warner Music Group (WMG) also known as Warner Music is an American major global record company headquartered in New York City. The largest American-owned music conglomerate worldwide, it is one of the 'big three' recording companies (the third largest in the global music industry). The company operates some of the largest and most successful recording labels in the world, including its flagship labels Warner Bros. Records, Parlophone Records and Atlantic Records. WMG also owns Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's largest music-publishing companies.
Formerly owned by Time Warner, the world's largest media conglomerate, the company was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange until May 2011, when it announced its privatization and sale to Access Industries, which was completed in July 2011. With a multi-billion dollar annual turnover, WMG employs in excess of 4,000 people and has operations in more than 50 countries throughout the world.
WMG's roots date back to the founding of Warner Bros. Records in 1958 as a division of Warner Bros. Pictures. This had no record label division at the time and one of its contracted actors, Tab Hunter, scored a hit song for Dot Records, which was a division of rival Paramount Pictures. In order to prevent any of its actors from recording for rival companies and to also capitalize on the music business, Warner Bros. Records was created. In 1963, Warner purchased Reprise Records, which had been founded by Frank Sinatra three years earlier so that he could have more creative control over his recordings. With the Reprise acquisition, Warner gained the services of Mo Ostin, who would be most responsible for the success of Warner/Reprise.