Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Shhh! EMI Posts Quietly Surprising Results.

The people who own EMI Music Group may regret the purchase, but here’s a tiny bit of good news: Sales are creeping up, even as the rest of the business contracts.

The company’s revenue climbed 7.4 percent in the 12 months ending March 31, the company disclosed (via PaidContent).

emi 2009

The rise is due to increases in both the sale of recorded music and publishing revenue; increases in the former are particularly rare these days. And these numbers ought to bump again in the coming year given that they’ll include dollars/pounds generated by the re-release of the Beatles albums.

Alas, since EMI owner Terra Firma is deep in the midst of negotiations with Citigroup (C), which lent it billions to buy the company, it’s not handing out any other details about the company’s performance, so hard to tell what’s really going on there.

Still, we do know that music has been in decline for a decade, and EMI’s bump up is the first, no matter how modest, in many moons (click on table below to enlarge).

emi revenue 2003-2008

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work