Warner Music Australasia

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 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 1 October 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 1 October 1972, US monopoly laws had also changed and WEA (the first initial of each of the three main labels) was born. From this time, WEA 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 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 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 Kerser, Lisa Mitchell, Evermore (the New Zealand band), Kylie Minogue, and newly signed Brisbane act Dead Letter Circus. Warner Music has also invested heavily in producers like Brittany Coney, Cam Noble, Kill Paris, ShockOne and Matt Lange.


Warner Vision Australia

Warner Vision Australia, a company of Warner Music Australasia, released a series of VHS and DVD on the History of the Olympic Games:

  • The Official Films Of The Olympic Games: London 1948 (Volume 1)
  • The Official Films Of The Olympic Games: Melbourne 1956 (Volume 2)
  • The Official Films Of The Olympic Games: Rome 1960 (Volume 3)
  • The Official Films of the Olympic Games: Tokyo 1964 (Volume 4)
  • The Official Films Of The Olympic Games: Mexico City 1968 (Volume 5)
  • The Official Films Of The Olympic Games: Montreal 1976 (Volume 6)
  • The Official Films Of The Olympic Games: Moskow 1980 (Volume 7)
  • The Official Films Of The Olympic Games: Los Angeles 1984 (Volume 8)
  • The Official Films Of The Olympic Games: Seoul 1988 (Volume 9)
  • The Official Films Of The Olympic Games: Barcelona 1992 (Volume 10)
  • The Official Films Of The Olympic Games: Atlanta 1996 (Volume 11)

Warner Music Vision Australia released a series of DVDs as a joint-venue with the Nine Network:

  • Ray Martin Presents: Graham Kennedy – The King Of Television
  • The Best Of The Paul Hogan Show
  • Channel Nine Salutes Bert Newton
  • The Best Of The Don Lane Show
  • Paul Hogan's England
  • Studio 9 Unplugged
  • Laughs & Larrikins: Midday With Ray Martin
  • Golden Logies Moments
  • Hey Hey It's Saturday ... By Request
  • Hey Hey It's Saturday ... By Request 2

See also


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