Warner Music Launches Incubator Labels

Warner Music Group

is already making plans to try and capture the Rock and Hip-Hop market with

the launch of two new "incubator" labels.

WMG has revived

the Asylum record label, which will be distributed through Warner/Elektra/Atlantic

and will help build indie labels within the WMG label.

In business, an

incubator is a parent like organization that provides office space, equipment,

mentoring and sometimes money to new businesses.

Todd Moscowitz,

a partner in Violator Management which handles Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Missy

Elliot, Mobb Deep and others, will head the new Asylum imprint. Warner sales

executive Ron Spaulding will also leave WEA for the Asylum label.

The first deal

is with Three Six Mafia's imprint, Hypnotize Minds, which includes Lil Wyte,

whose album Doubt Me Now has moved over 100,000 copies and Frayser Boy.

For the Rock label,

Warner has tapped Fred Feldman, owner of Triple Crown Records, which houses

such acts as Anterrabae, As Tall as Lions and Brand New.

The Rock imprint

has not been named and hasn't signed any acts, but will be distributed by Alternative

Distribution Alliance, WMG's independent distributor.

Executives at WMG

praised former Island/Def Jam Chairman Lyor Cohen for letting them “act

as entrepreneurs” in the new ventures.

Asylum was originally

founded by David Geffen. Geffen sold the company to Elektra, which was then

sold to Warner, creating the Warner/Elektra/Atlantic label group.

WEA was in turn

sold to former Universal Records boss Edgar Bronfman for over $2 billion dollars.