Universal To Propose "Manifesto" For Music Industry
July 11, 2012
Universal Music Group will reportedly propose a "manifesto" to European regulators, offering a plan to restore growth to the music industry, to help gain approval of its deal to acquire EMI's recorded music division. UMG Chairman/CEO Lucien Grainge told the Financial Times that the label plans to sell off some assets to address European Commission fears that its market share would pass 50 percent in some countries. Grainge also said Universal will offer commitments about its future dealings with its rival labels and digital start-ups.
Grainge told the FT, "I’m extremely open-minded about working with the [European] Commission in the context of behavioral remedies as well as divestitures."
The FT also reports that UMG told the EC it will increase its investment in A&R across its own labels as well as EMI's. Grainge says that under Terra Firma's leadership, EMI saw its A&R department take an "enormous" cut. Under its plan, UMG would increase its investment "in different artists and genres in different languages."
Grainge says he is working on a collaborative "manifesto for the new music industry," which would include "a new way of working with all these startup platforms ... in a fair, open-minded way." He added, "It could be in five years that the digital landscape has the same choices as the physical landscape had 25 years ago,"
Grainge also told the FT he was working on a "pro-consumer" package of concessions, adding that "What I care about is that EMI is kept as intact as possible so it can be reinvested in. One of the great dangers is that EMI is asset-stripped."
In related news, on Tuesday the UMG-EMI deal received approval from Japanese regulators.