Kazuhiro Shimada has been appointed as the new COO of Warner Music Japan. Shimada has over 15 years of experience in the music industry, working with both domestic and international artists. In his new role, Shimada will be responsible for the company’s daily business operations, leading key initiatives, and implementing organizational-wide strategies and policies.
Shimada began his career in the music industry working as an A&R scout for Sony Music Entertainment Japan. He later moved to Universal Music Group, where he worked as a Corporate Executive. Shimada was also Vice President, Strategy of MTV Networks Japan and worked at GAGA communications, where he was responsible for independent film acquisition, marketing and distribution.
With Shimada at the helm, Warner Music Japan is looking to revitalize its operations and better compete with its rivals in the Japanese market. Under Shimada’s leadership, the company plans to focus on artist development and promotion, as well as expanding its digital presence.
Shimada’s appointment comes at a time when the Japanese music market is undergoing a major shift. Physical sales have been declining for years, and digital downloads are now accounting for less than half of all music sales in Japan. Meanwhile, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are gaining popularity among Japanese consumers.
To stay competitive in this changing landscape, Warner Music Japan will need to focus on developing its digital business. With Shimada at the helm, the company is well-positioned to do just that.
Kazuhiro Shimada says: “Warner Music is highly influential in Japan and has an incredible reputation in the entertainment industry for its artist-first approach, focusing particularly on building long-term careers. I’m excited to join Kaz (Kobayashi) and his team and can’t wait to lead Warner Music Japan into the next level.”