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Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 3, Number 1 (2003)

Restructuring the Recording Industry: Are EMI's Problems a Warning Sign for Others in the Music Industry?

Richard Strasser

University of Massachusetts Lowell


EMI, the world's third largest record company, recently announced major changes in its corporate structure. This paper will argue that EMI's woes are emblematic of an overall weakening in the recording industry and should therefore sound an alarm bell for the rest of the industry. The author analyzes the underlying reasons for EMI's restructuring, as well as the restructuring itself. These include the worldwide economic downturn; the impact of the internet on traditional retail sale of phonorecords; competition from other forms of entertainment; and, the changing relationship between key artists and major record labels. The analysis will show that the major labels will further consolidate and due to economic rationalization will move towards artistic homogenization. These trends will also lead to greater autonomy for independent labels in the highly competitive entertainment industry.

Keywords: music industry, recording industry, music management, multinational media conglomerates, music business

Strasser, Richard. “Restructuring the Recording Industry: Are EMI’s Problems a Warning Sign for Others in the Music Industry?" Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 3, no. 1 (2003): 37-53. https://doi.org/10.25101/3.3

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