I just received a petition from http://publicknowledge.org to stop this merger that’s been making some press for at least the last month. After reading the associated article, I knee-jerked and signed a petition. Note to self: Stop jerking off so much. You see, I may have just contradicted my principles and views on high level mergers.
Digital distribution of music is the future of music. The CD is dead. New platforms are being developed to compete with iTunes’ dominance of the market and a merger at this level will make competition all the more difficult for start-ups with little entry-capital; this hypothetical combined label will be able to set the barrier to entry at whatever level they see fit. But on the flip-side a merger at this level may be a financial necessity to keep the two operating. This brings up another point entirely: Do they need to operate?
Even more alarming is that if the merger is approved UMG-EMI would control 40% of the music industry.
Great business move.
Now that I’ve thought about it, I remember that I was all for Sirius and XM to merge back in 2007 because I was aware both were struggling to stay afloat and could not survive as two separate companies and I desperately wanted at least Sirius to survive [I’m a huge Howard Stern fan.] Well, it appears that the music industry is not what it was ten or even fifteen years ago due to lack of album sales [Go ahead, blame me. Send hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org!] and they may be in the same boat as Sirius and XM back when they were separate. Keep in mind Sirius-XM is now combined and doing terribly. Just take a look at their stock. Suffice it to say maybe they have a point. Or maybe they just need to go away and let the music industry reform itself.
Read more on this topic from Glenn Peoples on billboard.biz after the jump!