Sony Music Entertainment is the world's second largest music group (after Universal), with a huge portfolio of artists and labels worldwide, although it tends to be most closely associated with chart-friendly pop. Artists include Adele, One Direction, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson. Now wholly owned by Sony Corporation, it was until 2008 a joint venture with Bertelsmann of Germany, operating under the name Sony BMG. That business had been created in 2004 from the merger of Sony's US-based music arm with Bertelsmann's BMG Music Entertainment. At the time the joint venture was conceived as Bertelsmann's exit route from what was then a deeply troubled industry. In 2008, Bertelsmann began negotiations to sell its half share in the business to Sony, and a deal was agreed that summer. After completion the company rebranded as Sony Music Entertainment. In 2011, Sony sealed an agreement to strengthen its music publishing division considerably through the partial acquisition of EMI's equivalent subsidiary for $2.2bn. See also:
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Historical profile information for Sony Music
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th May 2018: Sony Music tightened its grip on EMI Music Publishing, which it administers but currently only part-owns, with an agreement to buy out the majority stake held by Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund Mubadala for $2.3bn in cash plus assumption of $1.4bn of debt. Sony will end up with 90% of equity. The remaining 10% is held by the estate of Michael Jackson. The deal values the EMI catalogue at around $4.75bn, more than twice the figure it was acquired for on the break-up of EMI in 2012. It includes classics like 'Over The Rainbow', most of the hits from Motown and Carole King, and more recent songs from the likes of Beyonce and Hozier.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Mar 2016: Sony has negotiated to buy out its partner in joint venture Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The other 50% is owned by what is now the estate of the late "King of Pop" Michael Jackson. He acquired ATV Publishing, which controlled the Beatles songbook among other assets, in 1985, and merged it with Sony ten years later. Sony is understood to have committed to pay $750m for the shares it doesn't already own. The deal doesn't include Mijac Music, which continues to own the songs actually written by Michael Jackson; nor does it include the estate's stake in EMI Music Publishing, collectively owned by Sony/ATV and other investors since 2012.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Mar 2014: Despite a steep rise in revenues from streaming, the global music industry continued to shrink in 2013, with total music sales slipping almost 4% to $15.0bn, according to figures from industry body IFPI. A key factor in the decline was a dramatic 17% slump in the world's second biggest market, Japan, where streaming services such as Spotify have yet to gain a significant following. Excluding Japan, the global market was more or less flat, while North America and Europe experienced modest growth of 0.5% and 0.6% respectively, despite the continuing decline in physical product as well as the first decline in digital downloads. That was because of a 51% jump in revenues from streaming and subscription services to over $1bn globally. One Direction's Midnight Memories (from Sony Music) was the top selling album globally, selling 4m units, followed by Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP2 (3.8m, from Universal Music) and Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience (3.6m units, also Sony). Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke (Universal) was the undisputed top-selling single, with 14.8m units.
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