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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andrew Morse.

PC World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?