Bertelsmann wants to conquer music world

Details of the proposed pairing remain sketchy. EMI and BMG confirm that high-level talks have taken place but maintain that an outright acquisition is not in the offing. BMG officials were not immediately available to comment.

A partnership with EMI makes sense, especially in light of Bertelsmann's groundbreaking deal with Napster, which BMG and the other major labels are suing for copyright infringement. The deal calls for the creation of a for-pay, secure file-swapping service, and for BMG's new power centre, the e-commerce group BeCG, to loan an undisclosed amount to Napster.

Without the participation of other major recording groups, the new, Bertelsmann-sponsored Napster would have little appeal. After all, how many listeners would flock to a service offering music from just one of the Big Five record companies -- not to mention all the independent labels that have yet to strike a deal with the company?

Fans, furthermore, are loyal to artists, not labels. The two companies' talent rosters would fit together nicely. BMG has popular acts such as Dave Matthews, Toni Braxton and teen idol Christina Aguilera, all of which appeal to a younger audience. While EMI has some similar artists, it also has the catalogue for classic rock groups such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. EMI also owns the highly regarded Blue Note jazz imprint, which appeals to a smaller but more affluent audience.

Bertelsmann's newly aggressive approach to its music business already has riled its own executives. BMG Chairman Michael Dornemann and President Strauss Zelnick resigned from the music powerhouse early last week, just days after the Napster announcement. Meanwhile, a planned restructuring of BMG will strip the division of its distribution responsibilities.

Friday's news comes after weeks of speculation that Bertelsmann, which is trying to surpass the Universal Music Group as the world's largest music company, would make an out-and-out bid for EMI. A full-out merger, however, is unlikely given that regulatory authorities in Europe already have denied a proposed Time Warner-EMI union.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andrew Morse.

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?