Home Music Will Sony Go After EMI Now That Warner Music Is Out?

The Financial Times reported on Sunday that the new-new Warner Music Group, owned by Len Blavatnik‘s Access Industries, is out of the bidding for EMI Music. I’m not surprised. Last spring, when Blavatnik bought WMG and took it private, a source there told me didn’t think it was necessary for Warner to merge with EMI. And now, I guess, that’s come to pass.

Last week, another source spoke to me about Sony Music. Sony/ATV Music Publishing already has expressed an interest in EMI Music Publishing. Sony/ATV contains the Beatles catalog, of course. And EMI recorded music includes the Beatles recordings–all their CDs and packages. That’s the gold ring inside of EMI more than anything else. Who ever gets EMI gets the Beatles. And to marry the Beatles records with their publishing would be hitting a jackpot.

But I’m told as much as Sony in New York may want this, “everything must be run by [meaning talked over] Japan. And they are slow to make decisions.” But it does seem that the moment is now for Sony if they want to sweep EMI and the Beatles into their universe. Everything is up in the air.

EMI is a good fit for Sony on other fronts–Pink Floyd, second to just the Beatles at EMI, actually left Capitol for Sony in the 1970s after “Dark Side of the Moon.” Paul McCartney, now on Concord, did the same thing. They eventually returned. And an EMI artist like Katy Perry would flourish with the Sony A&R teams. Also, labels like Blue Note and Manhattan could be a neat fit, especially in the RCA group.

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2 replies to this post
  1. Lets also face it, Marty Bandier and Jody Gerson led Sony/ATV would be perfect to Chair EMI Music Publishing. Hell Marty used to run EMI during its glory day era.

    EMI/Virgin catalog/Artists would be very nice for Sony Music. it would be a nice booster shot and work ok. I just don’t know if it would pass the EU muster on anti-trust.

    though at this point, why not????

  2. I quietly think that it might be a better fit if EMI and the Universal labels were to merge. While people think Universal might be out of the running, I think they might come back. The temperament of EMI is better aligned to the Universal labels especially in regards to long histories. I think it might make sense for the EMI Classical labels to fit better alongside Decca, ECM and DG, and Polydor could distribute Parlophone and the Beatles.

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