company_name = EMI Group Ltd
company_type = Private
foundation = 1931
location_city = flagicon|GBR
Guy Hands, Chairman
revenue = £2.07 billion (2006)
net_income = £260 million loss (2007)cite news|title=Profile: British music giant EMI |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7188861.stm|publisher=
BBC News|date=2008-01-15 |accessdate=2008-03-16] cite news|title=EMI set to cut up to 2,000 jobs |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7188898.stm|publisher= BBC News|date=2008-01-15 |accessdate=2008-03-16]
num_employees = 5,500 (January 2008)
homepage = [http://www.emigroup.com EMI Group website]
footnotes =The EMI Group is a British music company comprising the major record company EMI Music – which operates several labels and is based in
Kensingtonin London, England, United Kingdom– and [http://www.emimusicpub.com EMI Music Publishing] , based in New York. EMI Music is one of the "big four" record companies.
EMI has been owned by
Terra Firma Capital Partnerssince August 2007. Terra Firma bought EMI for £3.2 billion after a dramatic decline in sales and the announcement that EMI had sustained a loss of £260 million in 2006/2007. At the same time, EMI's British market share dropped from 16% to 9%. Following the transition, several important artists walked out of EMI, including Radiohead. Paul McCartneyleft ahead of the takeover. The Rolling Stoneshave signed a one-album deal outside of their contract with EMI, which expired on February 2008. [cite news|title=Stones sign one-album record deal|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7193467.stm|publisher= BBC News|date=2008-01-17|accessdate=2008-03-17] [cite news|first=David |last=Jenison |title=Stones Shine a Light on EMI's Woes|url=http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=91f13094-fbfc-4138-b6f5-7fc9dc2dbe9d&entry=index|publisher=E! Online|accessdate=2008-03-17] That group on July 2008 signed a new long term deal with Universal Music Group. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7525887.stm BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Stones ditching EMI for Universal ] ] Guy Hands, CEO of Terra Firma Capital Partners, came to EMI with restructuring plans to cut 1500–2000 jobs to reduce costs by £200 million a year. In January 2008, EMI's UK chief executive Tony Wadsworthleft the company after 25 years. The cuts take effect over the year 2008, and would affect up to a third of EMI's 5500 staff.
The Electric and Musical Industries Ltd formed in March 1931 from the merger of the UK
Columbia Graphophone Companyand the Gramophone Company, famous at the time for its record label "His Master's Voice". From its beginning, the company was involved in both the manufacture of recording and playback equipment and the provision of music to play on its machines.
The company's gramophone manufacturing led to forty years of success with larger-scale
electronics. Alan Blumlein, a skilled engineer employed by EMI, conducted a great deal of pioneering research into stereo sound recording. Blumlein was tragically killed in 1942 whilst conducting trials on an experimental H2S radarunit. During and after World War II, the EMI Laboratories in Hayes, Hillingdondeveloped radarequipment and guided missiles. The company later became involved in broadcastingequipment, notably providing the first televisiontransmitter to the BBC. It also manufactured broadcast television cameras for British television production companies, mostly the BBC, although the commercial television ITVcompanies used them as well alongside cameras made by Pyeand Marconi. Their most famous piece of broadcast television equipment was the EMI 2001colour camera, which became the mainstay of both the BBC and several ITVcompanies in the 1970s and early 1980s.
In 1958 the EMIDEC 1100, Britain's first
transistorised computer, was developed at Hayes under the leadership of Godfrey Hounsfield. In the early 1970s, Hounsfield developed the first CAT scanner, a device which revolutionised medical imaging. In 1973 EMI was awarded a prestigious Queen's Award for Technological Innovation for what was then called the "EMI scanner" [The Times, April 21 1973, p19, "The Queen's Award to Industry"] , and in 1979 Hounsfield won the Nobel Prize for his accomplishment. [ [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1979/index.html Nobelprize.org] ] After brief, but brilliant, success in the medical imaging field, EMI's manufacturing activities were sold off to other companies, notably Thorn (see Thorn EMI). Subsequently development and manufacturing activities were sold off to other companies and work moved to other towns such as Crawley and Wells.
Emihus Electronics, based in
Glenrothes, Scotland, was owned 51% by Hughes Aircraft, of California, U.S.A., and 49% by EMI. It manufactured integrated circuitsand, for a short period in the mid-1970s, made hand-held calculatorsunder the Gemini name. [The Times, February 15 1974, p30, "American link expands range and techniques"]
Early in its life, the company established subsidiary operations in a number of other countries in the British Commonwealth, including
India, Australiaand New Zealand. EMI's Australian and New Zealand subsidiaries dominated the popular music industries in those countries from the 1920s until the 1960s, when other locally owned labels (such as Festival Records) began to challenge EMI's market near monopoly.
In 1931, the year the company was formed, it opened the legendary recording studios at Abbey Road, London. During the 1930s and 1940s, its roster of artists included
Arturo Toscanini, Sir Edward Elgar, and Otto Klemperer, among many others. During this time EMI appointed its first A&Rmanagers. These included George Martin, who later brought the Beatlesinto the EMI fold.
EMI released its first LPs in 1952 and its first stereophonic recordings in 1955 (first on reel-to-reel tape and then LPs, beginning in 1958).
In 1957, to replace the loss of its long-established licensing arrangements with RCA Victor and
Columbia Records(Columbia USA cut its ties with EMI in 1951), EMI entered the American market by acquiring 96% of the stock of Capitol Records. From 1960 to 1995 their headquarters, "EMI House," was at 20 Manchester Square. The stairwell is on the cover of the Beatles' "Please Please Me" album.
Its classical artists were largely limited to the prestigious British orchestras, such as the
Philharmonia Orchestra. During the LP era very few U.S. orchestras had EMI as their principal recording company; an exception was the Pittsburgh SymphonyBand, particularly during the years of William Steinberg's leadership.
Under the management of
Sir Joseph Lockwoodduring the late 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, the company enjoyed huge success in the popular musicfield. The groups and solo artists signed to EMI and its subsidiary labels -- including Parlophone, HMV, Columbia Graphophone and Capitol Records -- made EMI the best-known and most successful recording company in the world at that time, with a roster that included scores of major pop acts of the period including the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Hollies, Cilla Blackand Pink Floyd.
By 1967 EMI converted HMV to an exclusively classical music label, shifting HMV's
pop musicroster to Columbia. In 1969, EMI established a new subsidiary label, Harvest Records, which signed groups in the emerging progressive rockgenre, including Pink Floyd.
Electric & Musical Industries changed its name to EMI Ltd in 1971 and the subsidiary Gramophone Company became EMI Records Ltd in 1973. In 1972, EMI replaced the Columbia label with
EMI Records. In February 1979, EMI Ltd acquired United Artists Recordsand with it Liberty Records.
In October 1979
THORN Electrical Industriesmerged with EMI Ltd to form Thorn EMI.
In 1989 Thorn EMI bought a 50% interest in
Chrysalis Records, buying the outstanding 50% in 1991. In one of its highest-profile and most expensive acquisitions, Thorn EMI took over Richard Branson's Virgin Recordsin 1992.
On August 16, 1996, Thorn EMI shareholders voted in favour of demerger proposals. The resulting media company was known by the name EMI Group PLC.
Since the 1930s,
Shanghai's Baak Doihad been published under the EMIXinhuanet. " [http://news.xinhuanet.com/collection/2003-07/17/content_980098.htm Xinhuanet] ." "Baak Doi and the Old Records." Retrieved on 2007-04-21.] label. Since then, EMI had also been the dominant label in the cantopopmarket in Hong Kong. EMI divested totally from the c-popmarket between the years 2004-2006. After that, all Hong Kong music artists previously associated with EMI have had their music published by Gold Label, a concern unaffiliated with EMI and with which EMI does not hold any interest.
2 April 2007, EMI announced it would begin releasing its music in DRM-free formats. Initially they are rolling out in superior sounding high-bitrate AAC format via Apple's iTunes Store(under the iTunes Plus category) [cite news|title=EMI Music launches DRM-free superior sound quality downloads across its entire digital repertoire|url=http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm|publisher=EMI Group|date=2007-04-02|accessdate=2008-03-17] . The tracks will cost $1.29/€1.29/£0.99. Legacy tracks with FairPlayDRM will still be available for $0.99/€0.99/£0.79 - albeit with lower quality sound and DRM restrictions still in place. Users will be able to ‘upgrade’ the EMI tracks that they have already bought for $0.30/€0.30/£0.20. Albums are available at the same price as their lower quality, DRM counterparts. Music videos from EMI will also be DRM-free. The higher-quality, DRM-free files became available worldwide on iTunes on May 30, 2007, and are expected to show up on other music download services soon.
Universal Recordshas also announced sales of DRM-free music (which they described as an experiment).
Robbie Williamssigned a 6 album deal paying him over £80 million ($157 million), which was not only the biggest recording contract in British music history, but the second biggest in music history. [cite news|first=Fiachra|last=Gibbons|title=Robbie Williams signs £80m deal|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/oct/03/arts.artsnews|publisher= guardian.co.uk|date=2002-10-03|accessdate=2008-03-17]
December 15, 2005, Apple Records, the record label representing the Beatles, launched a suit against EMI for non-payment of royalties. The suit alleges that EMI have withheld $50 million from the record label. An EMI spokesman noted that audits of record label accounts are not unusual, confirming at least two hundred such audits have been performed, but that they rarely result in legal action. [cite news|title=Apple Records launches royalties lawsuit against EMI...again|url=http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2005/12/16/beatles-emi-lawsuit.html|publisher=CBC News|date=2005-12-16|accessdate=2008-03-17] A legal settlement was announced on April 12, 2007. Terms were undisclosed. [cite news|title=Beatles settle EMI royalties row|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6548035.stm|publisher= BBC News|date=2007-04-12|accessdate=2008-03-17]
EMI and Warner Music Group
In May 2006, EMI attempted to buy
Warner Music Group, which would have reduced the world's four largest record companies (Big Four) to three; however, the bid was rejected. [cite news|title=Warner Music throws out EMI bid|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4968814.stm|publisher=BBC News|date=2006-05-03|accessdate=2008-03-17]
Warner Music Group launched a
Pac-Man defense, offering to buy EMI. EMI rejected the offer. Representatives from both sides are thought to be still having meetings and deciding if one company will buy the other, however the European Commission's decision to overturn a previous decision allowing a similar merger between Sony and BMG is likely to have raised issues as to the wisdom of pursuing such a move at this time.
By most measures, a merged company of EMI and WMG would be even bigger than Sony BMG. Concerns regarding the creation of a monopoly may mean WMG will not receive approval from the
European Commission. However Impala, a large independent, non-profit trade association of indie music labels, has given the Warner Music its blessings to acquire EMI, the third-largest music group. In return, it is suggested [cite news|title=Statement Regarding Potential Warner Music Group Corp. Proposal to Acquire EMI Group plc|url=http://www.wmg.com/news/article/?id=8a0af81210c2b40b0110df66b1ed2939|publisher=Warner Music Group|date=2007-02-20|accessdate=2008-03-17] that the newly merged company will take responsibility for:
*providing specified funding for (but taking no equity participation in) the recently announced Merlin initiative, the new global digital rights licensing platform established by the independent music labels to represent the world’s independent music sector;
*ensuring the divestiture of certain recorded music assets to reinforce the market power of the independent sector; and
*pursuing various other behavioural commitments which have the aim of benefiting the recorded music market as a whole and, in particular, the independent music sector.
Terra Firma takeover
On May 21, 2007 the board of EMI Group publicly recommended to the shareholders a takeover bid by
private equityfirm Terra Firma Capital Partnersvalued at £3.2bn including debt. Dresdner Kleinwort acted as sole financial adviser and broker to Terra Firma. EMI's sales had declined dramatically in the recent months, making a loss of £260m in the past year. EMI's board of directors recommended the 265 pence per share offer from Terra Firma, however the deal needed to be approved by the firm's shareholders. [cite news|title=Music giant EMI agrees takeover|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6677875.stm|publisher=BBC News|date=2007-05-21|accessdate=2008-03-17]
On June 14, 2006 EMI received an initial unsolicited alternative proposal from Warner Music to acquire all of the share capital of EMI for 315 pence per share in cash. The Board of EMI considered this proposal from Warner Music to be wholly unacceptable and unanimously rejected it.
The shares of EMI traded significantly higher than the offer price since the takeover offer, suggesting the takeover attempt would probably fail. Indeed, Terra Firma (Maltby) was only offered some 3% of the outstanding shares by 27 June 2007, while it wanted to acquire more than 90%. Terra Firma then extended the offer period by a week until July 4th 2007, but did not obtain a significant amount of shares. Terra Firma subsequently extended its desperate bid by a further week until July 12th 2007. The shares continued to trade significantly above the offer price as holders realised the value of the company is much higher than the offer proposed by the
private equitygroup. Terra Firma got no significant amount of shares tendered until July 12th, and extended the offer by a further week until July 19th, still not giving up. Terra Firma has now reached a 90% acceptance level, which allows the firm to declare the offer wholly unconditional and issue 429 notices, meaning that the now minority shareholders in the company are forced to sell.
EMI Group plc was delisted from the
London Stock Exchangeon September 18, 2007. Terra Firma bought EMI for £3.2 billion after a dramatic decline in sales, and announcement that EMI had incurred a £260 million loss for 2006/2007. At the same time, EMI's British market share dropped from 16% to 9%. Following the transition, several important artists walked out of EMI.
Labels under the EMI banner
List of EMI labels".
Past and present EMI musicians
EMI has signed many popular artists from multiple genres, including:
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Rebecca St. James
Myriam Montemayor Cruz
The Beach Boys
30 Seconds to Mars
Jacqueline du Pré
Sir Simon Rattle
Barclay James Harvest
EMI Music Publishing
As well as the well-known record label the group also holds [http://www.emimusicpub.com EMI Music Publishing] , which is the largest music publisher in the world. As is often the case in the music industry, the publishing arm and record label are very separate businesses.
EMI Songbook Series
List of EMI labels
List of musicians signed to EMI
List of record labels
The Gramophone Company
*The HMV Group
*"International Directory of Company Histories", St. James Press.
* [http://www.emigroup.com EMI Group (Parent company)]
* [http://www.emimusic.co.uk EMI Music (UK)]
* [http://www.musichead.com.au/ Official Australian Site]
* [http://www.emigroup.com/About/History/Default.htm History of EMI]
* [http://www.emimusicpub.com EMI Music Publishing]
* [http://www.emiarchivetrust.org EMI Archive]
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