Whither the Universal-EMI Merger?

The biggest debate going on in the music industry right now is the question of the proposed merger between Universal and EMI.  Should it be allowed to go through?  Or will the new entity be so large that have an unfair competitive advantage in the marketplace?

It’s an interesting battle.  But from where I sit, there’s more to it than just market share.  It’s about who controls the music and at what level.

I couldn’t quite articulate it until I ran across this item from ReadWriteWeb:

I’ll leave the details of the Universal-EMI merger to someone else to argue over. The bottom line is that nearly two decades after MP3, more than a decade after the iPod, in an era flowering with the likes of Pandora, Last.fm, Spotify and SoundCloud, these guys still don’t get what they’re up against. They’re arguing about how best to make the shift from horse-drawn buggy to automobile – when their customers have been driving Ferraris for years. Growing market share should not be the industry’s end game. The record company execs need to focus on understanding that the world has changed, and change with it.

Listen, we need a strong and stable music industry infrastructure.  But the record industry also has to be willing to meet the needs and demands of the consumer.  There needs to be transparency and swiftness when it comes to licensing music for digital services.  And the price needs to be in line with market realities.

The last thing we need is someone or something that holds back innovation in the digital space.  

Read more here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “Whither the Universal-EMI Merger?

  • June 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    It's an interesting battle. But from where I sit, there's more to it than just market share. It's about who controls the music and at what level.

  • September 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I dson,t think it is fair to compair the umg/emi merger with at&t/t mobile. and if universal doesn,t get emi another company will and a bank holding company are not supposed to hang on to non core bank business,s so another music company will be waiting in the WINGS a pun off of a universal label.And besides it sold off enough companies that it will stand copetitive and if push comes to shove then they will sell some assets over here too. So it,s really not the same at all. Don,t listen to gigi sahn she is an idiot.

  • September 15, 2012 at 2:07 am

    I don,t see that there is much difference between sony and the proposed universal/emi merger just about 1 point is that all you are worring about is one point gee that is pretty good to me


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