When Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP (NYSE: KKR) announced that it was exiting BMG Rights Management GmbH, its joint venture with Bertelsmann AG, it left many wondering what's in store for the record label behind Johnny Cash and Bruno Mars.

A condensing music industry has artists worried, says Casey Rae of the Future of Music Coalition, a national research and advocacy firm for musicians. Large companies had, for years, lost the confidence of musicians and artists by acting like moguls.

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