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WHO'S TAKEN
EMI'S SLICE?

Warner’s auctioning off of multiple assets to the indie sector following its £487m purchase of Parlophone Label Group in 2013 is finally coming to a close, with all deals said to be done and dusted by 9/30, according to Music Week sources.

The buy aimed to bring WMG into the ring with Sony and Universal, as well as significantly growing the indies’ marketshare. How do the marketshare stats shape up in Blighty?

If you’ll remember, Warner bought Parlophone as part of divestments required from Universal after its own purchase of Parlophone parent label EMI. A deal was struck between Warner and indie bodies IMPALA and Merlin in order for the Parlophone buy to be approved by regulatory bodies. It’s taken four years to complete the divestment process.

Before all of the palava, Universal remained the major shareholder with 35/36% of the albums and singles market for the year ending 2012, with Sony behind at 18/20%. Warner took 12/15% album/singles and EMI had 12/11%. That left around 22/18% for the indies.

In the four years since the merger, players have of course blown hot and cold with Sam Smith, Adele and Ed Sheeran providing significant spikes for their respective labels along the way. Still, if we're comparing then with now, Universal has stayed on a fairly even keel, while Sony has grown to 24.3%, according to AES figures for 2016. Warner has risen to 17.5%, with the indies taking a 23.2% share last year.

Interestingly, the biggest beneficiaries of the Universal/EMI merger are therefore Warner (up 4% since 2012) and the indie sector (up 3.2%). While Sony wasn’t involved in the merger on the recordings side, it did get EMI Publishing. Under the tenure of Jason Iley, the label has upped its marketshare by 5.3% over the last four years, despite not having any of those multi-million selling artists mentioned above.

Have a beer on us, folks!

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