Sony Buys EMI Music Publishing in a $1.9 Billion Deal

Sony aims to beef up its music catalog with this $1.9 billion acquisition of EMI Music.

(Image Credit: AFP) Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida

Japanese entertainment giant Sony Corp. announced Tuesday it will acquire a majority stake of EMI Music Publishing. The former already holds the rights to about 2.3 million songs.

The deal, amounting to $1.9 billion, is the company’s first major deal under new CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. He noted that the music industry has enjoyed a “resurgence” recently because of music streaming services like Spotify and Apple.

According to the company, it has signed a deal with Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Mubadala who holds 60% holding. With this acquisition, Sony now holds an indirect stake of approximately 90% of EMI Music.

“We are thrilled to bring EMI Music Publishing into the Sony family and maintain our number-one position in the music publishing industry”, said Yoshida. “I believe this acquisition will be a particularly significant milestone for our long-term growth,” he adds.

Sony aims to continue increasing its content business, a strategy that its former CEO Kazuo Hirai had started.

“(The acquisition of EMI) is an investment to beef up our content catalog. Once this deal is complete, we will become one of the biggest music publishing firms in the world.”

EMI holds a “comprehensive and diverse collection of copyrights for music and lyrics” from a “wide variety of iconic and popular songwriters”. This includes Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” which continue to make the company money even after decades. Other popular moneymakers from the brand include Kanye West, Drake, Pink, Fetty Wap and Hozier.

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The Beatles goes digital, not in iTunes


Following the recent leak that found the Beatles’ digitally remastered catalog for sale at BlueBeat for 25 cents each, Apple Corps Ltd (the Beatles company) and EMI Music announced that the songs will be officially released on December 7 overseas and on December 8 in North America.

If you’re thinking of getting the tracks on iTunes though, you’re in for a disappointment because the songs will not be available in Apple’s music software. Instead, the digital versions of The Beatles songs can be purchased in limited-edition Beatles Stereo USB apples. Only 30,000 units will be sold worldwide.

“This unique, apple-shaped USB drive is loaded with the re-mastered audio for The Beatles’ 14 stereo titles, as well as all of the re-mastered CDs’ visual elements, including 13 mini-documentary films about the studio albums, replicated original UK art, rare photos and expanded liner notes,” according to the product description. The USB drives is priced at $279.99 each.

Rumors that the digital versions of the band’s hits could be coming in to iTunes have been going around for years, especially after Apple Corps. and Apple settled a trademark dispute in 2007. OAbviously they are still, just rumors as digital downloads of The Beatles songs hasn’t appeared in iTunes…yet. 😉



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