Universal Music Group Chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge has spoken about the results of the UMG acquisition of EMI's recorded music division, which was given approval on Friday by regulators in the U.S. and Europe. Speaking to The Daily Mail in the UK, Grainge said, "Is this deal worth it? You bet. This deal has now been cleared in the three biggest music markets in the world – America, Japan and Germany. I am leading a business that now owns Capitol Music and the Abbey Road Studio as well as the EMI and Virgin labels."
He continued, "We intend to generate cost savings of £100 million. There will be job losses. I can only grow this business by making savings and investing in the product – the artists and the music. But we are creative people and we know how to work with creative people. We know what we’re doing."
Grainge says that Universal plans for the Capitol and Virgin labels to be the focus going forward. "There will be more music released on these two labels and we will sign domestic [meaning UK] artists to them," he told the paper.
The UMG head is optimistic about the music industry, following the merger, saying, "I refuse to accept the continual decline of the music industry. This deal is about creating growth, to stabilize the business and to make a courageous investment in our future. Legal digital music versus piracy five years ago is a different business from where it is now. The moves against Pirate Bay and Megaupload have had an effect. This is about the future of music, it is a bet on what the future will be – on how music collides with technology in markets and on platforms that have never existed before. We are the glutinous thing that runs through all the technology. Without music, there’s nothing."
Grainge also spoke to Billboard.biz and made similar comments, but added that he regrets having to sell off the Parlophone label in Europe to meet regulators' standards for the deal. He said, "I would have much preferred to have kept Parlophone as part of EMI, but it wasn't to be. We've got the Beatles, Robbie Williams and Frank Sinatra, among others, so I'm thrilled and privileged to have two-thirds of EMI." Grainge added that Parlophone is "a great asset for anyone who wants to be involved in the music business. It's pure class and quality."