• Lorem ipsum
  • Dolor sit a met
  Tips, use query like this to get relevance result: "artist - song title"

IMPALA Claims Sony + EMI Would Control 70% of the Song Charts in Europe

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Justin
89 out of 100 based on 938 user ratings

IMPALA Claims Sony + EMI Would Control 70% of Song Charts in Europe

Helen Smith, Executive Chair of the Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA).

Is IMPALA exaggerating Sony’s EMI Music Publishing reach — or is it really that lopsided?

It’s no secret European music organizations are staunchly opposed to Sony’s proposed acquisition of EMI Music Publishing.

According to Helen Smith, chief executive of IMPALA, the Japanese conglomerate would pose a serious threat to local artists and industry.

If permitted, this transaction would also harm collecting societies, songwriters and composers, and consumers who would face higher charges for music services.

Never mind that Universal Music Group remains the world’s largest music company, with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) a veritable beast.  Ignoring that elephant, Smith continued on her attack on Sony.

Our view is that the transaction has to be blocked.  EMI would have a better future as a stand-alone operation or combined with another smaller music company to make a more effective competitor to the majors.

Then, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors (BASCA) went after Sony’s EMI purchase.

Stating the acquisition would create a “superpower,” Heliene Lindvall, writing on behalf of the BASCA Songwriters Committee, stated,

Creators should expect that their copyrights will be known to the publisher and exploited fully.   They should also expect their publishers to work closely with them on a personal level to develop their careers.  The opposite has been found to be true for songwriters and composers – including myself – when their rights are transferred from their original publisher to a corporation such as Sony, in merging vast catalogs.

European regulators will issue a decision over Sony’s planned EMI acquisition on October 26th.  Faced with the possibility of an approval, Smith has gone on the warpath.

So, how much of the market will Sony and EMI truly control?

IMPALA has released a survey demonstrating how Sony’s takeover of EMI Music Publishing will affect the European music scene.  Should regulators approve the acquisition, the Japanese conglomerate would allegedly control 70%-80% of national music charts in the region.  The independent music organization analyzed national music charts for 2017 in key European countries.

So, according to IMPALA, Sony+EMI would control 82% of the most popular works in Spain, with an average repertoire range of 78%-89%.  In Italy, the combined company’s repertoire would decrease to 77% with a 69%-89% average song ownership range.

In the UK and France, Sony+EMI would control 73% of a market with a notable repertoire variation.  Sony+EMI’s charts ownership would range between 62% and 87% in the UK alone.  In France, that number would dip slightly between 64% and 81%.

In Ireland, the combined company would own 70% of the song charts with an average between 59% and 86% range.  And, in Sweden, Sony+EMI would control 68% of music charts, with an ownership range between 60% and 81%.

The figures reveal to what extent Sony would control key repertoire should it have sole control of EMI Music Publishing.  The results show that Sony would control on average around 70% of the charts, with many weeks well over 80%.

Speaking on the figures, Smith insists Sony’s control would harm artists in the European digital market.

These figures far exceed the maximum the EC has already established.  They reveal what we have been highlighting all along, that Sony would have a near monopoly grip over the charts.  That would give it unprecedented market power over playlists, radio and other routes to market.  This confirms the real risk of the transaction and the need for the EC to block it outright.”

IMPALA obtained the results examining the weekly published single charts for the first complete week of each month in 2017.  This included identifying tracks featuring Sony or EMI controlled compositions.

According to the indie music organization, the European Commission has previously stepped in when ownership shares reach 50%.

These figures far exceed the maximum the EC has already established.  They reveal what we have been highlighting all along, that Sony would have a near monopoly grip over the charts.  That would give it unprecedented market power over playlists, radio and other routes to market.  This confirms the real risk of the transaction and the need for the EC to block it outright.

IMPALA has submitted the findings to the EU’s antitrust watchdog in Brussels.  The organization remains adamant against Sony’s possible acquisition, vowing to “continue its analysis” in other territories.

 


Featured image by INES – Innovation Network of European Showcases (YouTube screengrab).