Friday, February 6, 2009

The End Of The Major Labels?

As we said in a previous post, Warner Music health looks dubious at best, but EMI and Sony too?

EMI just posted a $221 million loss for the last 6 months, which is a lower loss than the 6 months previous (that was a loss of $462 million), but it's still enormous by any standard. And things aren't looking any better for the future, which might lead Citibank (who financed the purchase for holding company Terra Firma) to pull the plug. Their digital revenues did move up 38% to $145 million, but that's just a drop in the bucket compared to the big picture.

Sony Music also has it's own troubles, with music profits down 41% thanks to a 22% overall sales drop. It's true that they received some relief in the de-merger with BMG, but you can't say that the future looks bright here either.

Hopefully we're about to enter into a new era of music distribution where conglomerates no longer have a seat at the table. The business is too small and too specialized for them, and no one, from the distributors to radio to the artists to the consumer, has benefited.

Maybe we can finally get back to the way it used to be, where people who really cared about music were the ones that actually ran the business. Until that happens, we'll just have a stale, dying industry to be part of.

1 comment:

Larry Jones said...

Does anyone at all actually care about these behemoths? I miss Stax/Volt, Elektra and Motown maybe, but if all the giants went away we might be able to get down to some real music, and frankly I won't miss the big boys at all. Of course, I never sold a bazillion records (or CD's), so maybe I'm biased.

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