EMI: “And Now For Something Completely Different”

Nov 7th, 2008 // 3 Comments

We know that some people might be dismayed to hear that EMI hasn’t just closed up shop and given up on music entirely. But the beleaguered company has–really!–earned £59 million (before tax, depreciation and amortization) in the second and third quarters of 2008, thanks in part to the successes of Coldplay and Katy Perry. “EMI is absolutely not bankrupt, far from it. EMI has never been in such a financially sound situation,” recorded-music CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti said of this news. And now the company’s planning to restructure itself, splitting the music aspect of the business into three parts.

Elio Leoni-Sceti, chief executive of the company’s recorded music division, will unveil the plans at a presentation to staff. The Italian Executive will announce that the business will be split into three distinct global units: new music, catalogue and music services, and with an increase in marketing resources, according to the Financial Times. The online music service EMI.com will launch this December.

Still, Leoni-Sceti isn’t entirely optimistic about his company’s future, saying that the road ahead will be “not be smooth or easy.” While most labels have some separation between their new releases and catalog, it seems like creating a deeper divide between the two might not be a great idea for EMI, which needs to find a way to leverage its discography to make enough money to take chances on new artists. The company is counting on releases from Sarah Brightman and Tom Jones to create excitement in the fourth quarter, so clearly EMI has a A&R problem. And I doubt it’ll be solved by sending the new release department out on an iceberg by itself.

EMI announces restructuring plans [Guardian]

  1. Anonymous

    What a fuckin’ mess. I feel for the artists. These guys are clueless.

  2. Captain Wrong

    I have to wonder if all this isn’t the reason for the delay on the long rumored Beatles remasters. If these things have been in the can for a few years, as the popular story goes, it certainly seems like the Fab Duo is trying to run the clock out on this one so they can take ‘em elsewhere or maybe get a better deal from whoever buys EMI’s assets. Considering the recordings will start going public domain in the EU in a few years, I can’t see any other advantage to not releasing those things now.

    Of course, I also wonder what the actual sales of a comprehensive Beatles remaster series (including mp3 sales) would be anyway. I’ve long been of the opinion that everyone who wants these albums has them by now and while there would be new sales, I can’t see them being on the level of when they were first issued on CD in 1987. Still, I’m sure it would help EMI’s bottom line if they could get the green light.

  3. revmatty

    Well the thing about music that remains popular long after it’s original release is that every day hundreds of thousands of new people are born who one day will want to buy The Beatles/Dark Side of the Moon/ In a Soulful Mood, etc etc. Just because everyone who was 15 or older in ’87 has bought them doesn’t mean that there aren’t new potential buyers entering the market every single day.

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