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Monday, 14 November 2011

And then there were three .......


Universal takes the label. Sony ATV takes the publishing company.

Instead of halting the uncertainty, these acquisitions raise more questions than they answer:

- Is this inevitable market consolidation in a struggling music industry?

 - In the mid-1990s we had 6 majors, now we have 3.  Is BMG Rights a challenger for the 4th spot?

  - Does this provide additional marketing clout for artists fortunate enough to remain on major label rosters? Or reduced competition in a market where fewer artists sign to majors? If the latter, will Universal only sign artists who include all non-recorded music income streams within the deal (the 360 model)?

 - For B2B music users (brands who license recordings & songs), what does this development mean? Surely reduced competition, which usually leads to proportionally smaller synch licensing teams dealing with larger catalogues and a marked increase in licensing fees. Slower service at higher cost?

 - Monopoly enquiries (certainly in Universal's case) forcing the disposal of some recorded catalogues as part of the transaction? This previously occurred when Universal Music Publishing acquired BMG Music Publishing in 2006 (resulting in the sale of Zomba, Rondor, 19 & BBC catalogues to Imagem.)

 My thoughts are with the staff of EMI, as the only certainty is that many of them will face an uncertain future.

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. In my opinion the way that the EMI business was split and sold tells a story in its own right. Universal have taken a big risk in buying the recorded music side of the business - historcally this has proven the less profitable part of the business and, adding this to their own struggling protfolio is a bit of a gamble - in line with the way the execs run the business?....whereas.... Sony bought the publishing side which has always been the more lucrative side of EMI and will give Sony a strong revenue stream and a much lower risk rating - also inline with the way the execs run the business. The real question is 'who made the best decision?' - in my view it has to be Sony (perhaps i'm less of a risk taker??)