300 Entertainment – the Lyor Cohen-founded label that Warner Music Group bought for a reported $400 million last month – has officially launched a “content and film division” called 300 Studios.
WMG’s 300 Entertainment, the label behind Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug, and Fetty Wap, unveiled the debut of 300 Studios via a formal release this morning. Kevin Liles, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of the overarching 300 Entertainment, is set to head the visual-media operation, with longtime BET senior director of music programming Kelly G. Griffin signing on as head of creative strategy.
Also on the personnel side, 300 Studios has enlisted former Viacom exec Nolan Baynes – who, like Griffin, worked for the film-focused division for some time before this public announcement – to serve as general manager. The 300 Studios release further acknowledges that the entity has already posted north of 85 Unplugged episodes to YouTube.
Moving forward, 300 Studios will look “to develop multi-format, feature, and episodic content through a cultural point of view,” according to higher-ups.
The just-revealed division has “signed, managed, mentored, and partnered with hundreds of artists, producers, and content creators,” execs indicated, with more than 20 projects, including independent films, “music-lifestyle series, episodic content, and podcast initiatives,” currently in development.
(On the latter front, it’s worth reiterating that Warner Music Group and Spotify inked an “innovative podcast development deal” back in April of 2021, agreeing to jointly create “a series of original podcasts built around WMG’s vast and diverse artists’ and songwriters’ catalogs.”)
300 Studios’ “debut project,” however, is a six-episode Netflix docuseries entitled RACE: Bubba Wallace. The program “follows the only full-time African American driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, Bubba Wallace, against the backdrop of a post-George Floyd America” and “provides exclusive access to Wallace as he competes on Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin’s 23XI racing team and uses his platform to speak out about racial injustice,” the release states.
Besides the aforementioned podcast pact between Warner Music and Spotify, the official launch of 300 Entertainment’s film and content division arrives about six months after WMG finalized a visual-media production deal with Lightbox.
Founded by Tina producers Simon and Jonathan Chinn, Lightbox is crafting movies and TV shows about “WMG’s current global superstars, songwriters and iconic legacy acts,” the parties said upon announcing the agreement, with the Big Three label poised to “co-produce, co-develop and co-finance” the works.
Two weeks ago, SoundCloud released a film, The Day Ones, featuring tracks from Kid Quill, SoFaygo, Pa Salieu, Sofia Mills, and other artists who rose to prominence on the music-sharing platform.