EMI Plans To Maximize The Potential Of Artists, Minimize Its Roster Of Employees

Jan 15th, 2008 // 1 Comment

As anticipated, Guy Hands announced his plans to restructure EMI’s recorded music division this morning. Along with layoffs of 1,500-2,000 employees worldwide, plans for the next six months include a renewed focus on A & R (with some actual new artist signings!) and “developing a new partnership with artists, based on transparency and trust,” news that no doubt is thrilling Robbie Williams’ manager right now. Somehow, the Times Online managed to find only the people who were looking forward to the retrenching, quoting unnamed employees who said “That’s life, that’s business,” “I’m optimistic,” “We need to start making money,” and that Guy Hands’ presentation was “very inspiring.” I guess it’s smart to think that there are HR moles lurking everywhere, but come on, a bunch of employees were anonymously quoted and none of them were worried about their immediate future? The official word after the jump.

(London, 15 January 2007): EMI Group is today announcing a series of wide-ranging initiatives within its Recorded Music division to enable the group to become the world’s most innovative, artist friendly and consumer-focused music company.

In a series of presentations to staff, artists and managers, Guy Hands, EMI Group’s chairman, is unveiling a fundamental reshaping of the business to reflect the rapidly-changing nature of the music industry. The changes include:

* Repositioning EMI’s labels to ensure they will be completely focussed on A&R and maximising the potential of all their artists
* Developing a new partnership with artists, based on transparency and trust, and helping all artists monetise the value of their work by opening new income streams such as enhanced digital services and corporate sponsorship arrangements
* Bringing together all the group’s key support activities including sales, marketing manufacturing and distribution into a single division with a unified global leadership
* The elimination of significant duplications within the group to simplify processes and reduce waste

The changes, which will be implemented over the next six months, will enable the group to invest more in its A&R operations both to identify and sign promising new artists and to maximise the potential of its existing roster.

The restructuring is being carried out following an intense three-month consultation review of the business by Terra Firma since it acquired the business last year and many of the measures being implemented have come at the suggestion of staff, artists or their managers.

The restructuring will also enable the group to capture significant efficiencies and cost reductions which are expect to reduce costs by up to £200 million per year. The restructuring is also expected to lead to a worldwide headcount reduction within the group of between 1,500 and 2,000.

Guy Hands commented: “We have spent a long time looking intensely at EMI and the problems faced by its Recorded Music division which, like the rest of the music industry, has been struggling to respond to the challenges posed by a digital environment

“We believe we have devised a new revolutionary structure for the group that will improve every area of the business. In short it will make EMI’s music more valuable for the company and its artists alike. The changes we are announcing today will ensure that this iconic company will be creating wonderful music in a way that is profitable and sustainable.”

EMI job cuts: employees react [Times Online]

idolator

  1. the rich girls are weeping

    This kind of restructuring works great (well, okay, it works — let’s just leave it at that) when you’re making widgets in multiple international markets — but I’m curious to see if it will work to boost sales of an intangible service (because face it, music is basically intangible service now).

    Back office consolidation is generally always a good thing, but does have a tendency to lead to even more bureaucratic red tape and overworked staffers. Still, this part actually might work to save a little bit of money here and there, but it’s not going to save the business.

    I wonder about the wisdom of pushing to develop more new artists, though. I guess the three months of due diligence made it clear that established cash-cow artists aren’t so cash-cowy anymore — plus they’re spoiled by the old business model (Robbie Williams) and won’t roll with the new punches. A crop of new artists will be less of a drain. Or something. At any rate, clearly we’re returning to the spit ‘em up and chew ‘em out singles-not-albums strategy? OMG, it’s 1960!

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