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Warner Music Germany will slash a hundred jobs - almost half of its work force of 223 people, in response to volatile sales and illegal downloading. Warner Germany told FT Deutschland it will hire a outplacement agency to help the axed staff.

The news came just hours after EMI said it will rid itself of 1500 employees and 20 per cent of its artist roster, some 300-odd acts.

Warner is also cutting jobs in other European countries - two weeks ago, the Dutch office of Warner Music axed all its national artists and closed its A&R department.

Warner CEO and chairman Edgar Bronfman said earlier this year that "painful changes" were essential to help Warner Music remain competitive in a "rapidly evolving marketplace". ®

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