Warner revives Giant as singles label in Sweden

Warner Music is resurrecting the Giant brand as a singles-only label in Sweden to help capitalise on streaming’s dominance in the territory.

The label – originally founded by Irving Azoff but mothballed by Warner in 2001 – will “look high and low for tomorrow’s hits” according to Robert Skowronski, A & R at Warner Music Sweden.

The first title to be released by Giant will be Simon Eric’s Waiting For The Sun, which Warner calls ‘a candidate for the 2015 summer hit already – despite being released in the winter’.

Skowronski said Giant’s aim was to sift through as many demos as possible and provide feedback to artists and songwriters within a few days of receiving a submission, commenting that the launch was a reaction to “the new jukebox era” of Spotify domination.

Streaming now represents 79.8% of all recorded music income in Sweden, generating 787.5m SEK (€82.5m) in 2014.

Skowronski said Giant wanted to be “more fearless” than other labels, and to “quickly give good songs a chance” by not being bound by the traditional patient release model of a major label.

Amateur artists will be able to upload their tracks through a dedicated Giant site. But Skowronski said Giant would not become a pure-play digital distributor, instead providing releases with Warner’s expertise in PR, marketing and radio promotion.

He acknowledged that anyone could now get their songs released via Spotify or iTunes aggregators, but said it was difficult to “break through” without the backing of expert professionals.

Giant says there will be “no rules” in terms of the genres it’s looking to release.

The first hit from the original Giant was Tara Kemp’s “Hold You Tight”. Later, the label became more of a sub-label of Warner Bros. and housed also typical album artists.Music Business Worldwide

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