Sony buys EMI, becomes world's biggest music publisher

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Sony is shelling out $2.3 billion to buy EMI, the company announced this Tuesday.

This will turn the Japanese tech giant into the world’s biggest music publisher.

According to Sony’s press release, the company will be buying Mubadala Investment Company consortium’s 60 per cent equity interest in EMI. This will bring Sony’s ownership of the company’s equity interest to 90 per cent, turning it into a subsidiary.

Sony’s new CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said this move will help the company ‘maintain the number one position in the music industry. “This investment in content intellectual property is a key stepping stone for our long-term growth,” he told a news conference.

EMI’s acquisition means Sony will get a catalogue of more than two million songs, including those from artists like Kanye West, Sam Smith and Sia.

Reuters says EMI commands 15 per cent of the music publishing industry.

“The rise in digital streaming is also expanding songwriter royalty revenues, with Sony capturing value as manager of the copyrights backed by direct deals with the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, SoundCloud and YouTube,” Macquarie analyst Damian Thong said in a report.

Yoshida started running the company in April, and once said his main goal was to organize a solid cash flow, while at the same time trying to minimise the impact of volatile sales cycles of game consoles and other electronics gadgets.

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