Warner Music’s ADA Launches in Japan

Rebecca Davis

Warner Music’s independent distribution division ADA launched on Monday in Japan, the world’s second-largest music market. Ex-Universal Music executive Kaz Aida will lead a local team out of Warner Music’s new Tokyo headquarters, reporting directly to Vic Horikiri, COO of Warner Music Japan.

Eliah Seton, Warner Music’s president of independent music and creator services, called the Japan launch “a major milestone in ADA’s globalization.”

Warner Music Japan president and CEO Kaz Kobayashi said: “The launch of ADA Japan expands Warner Music Group’s offering to the local music community. We’ve invested much time in repurposing our business for a changing music market and ADA is well placed to assist local labels to do the same.”

The move comes after the establishment this past summer of ADA Latin and ADA Asia, which includes Greater China, Korea, and Southeast Asia, as well as strategic licensing deals with partners like Ziiki Media in India and DPM in Indonesia.

Aida said Japan is “a fast-changing market, with digital adoption now taking off at a rapid rate.” In his new role, he said he wants to “help our local labels and management companies navigate this scene, and also plug their artists into ADA’s unrivaled global network.”

Aida has worked in music for over a decade, starting at Roadrunner Records and later joining Universal Music Japan back when it was still EMI Japan. In his last role there, he managed digital deals with Amazon, Apple Music, Line Music and Spotify. He comes to Warner with experience in A&R, commerce, digital marketing and promotions, and has previously supported artists such as Kiyoshiro Imawano, The Alfee and PassCode.

Seton said Aida “brings tremendous experience across all aspects of the music business and will be an invaluable partner to independent labels and artists.”

ADA was established in 1993 to focus on the independent music business by combining the power of a major label with the marketing sensibilities of an indie. Its partners include Sub Pop, Vice, Comedy Central, Ciara and Macklemore, among others.

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