EMI sign G-Unit: What happens next?
EMI Records is a British based record company, which makes up 1/4 of the Big Four Major labels. 2 months ago, EMI Group almost didn’t exist due to heavy pre-tax losses of over $1.5 billion.
EMI Records today:
It was reported that Sony BMG and Warner Music Group were preparing bids for the historic label, until Guy Hands had managed to rescue them 2 days before the deal was done.
EMI Group’s strongest asset is their extensive publishing catalog. EMI Publishing is the largest publisher in the world, that ranges from Jobete (Motown) to Alicia Keys.
They’re the smallest of the Big Four, and also hold the lowest market share of the Big Four in the U.S Urban Market, in contrast to its larger Worldwide Urban market share.
Well known subsidiaries of EMI include, Capitol Records, Virgin Records and Priority Records (since 1996).
Virgin had to remove its entire Urban Music Department to save losses, after they gave Mariah Carey a contract worth $ 80 million to sign.
G-Unit Records hasn’t had distribution for around 18 months now, but recent hits such as Lloyd Banks : Beamer, Benz and Bentley, have shown that there is still a significant fanbase for G-Unit in the U.S.
This also adds to the speculation of 50 Cent joining Capitol Records after his contract ends at Interscope/Universal, which he had earlier denied (possibly to create a bidding war).
Why didn’t G-Unit join Sha Money at Def Jam? :
50 Cent and Tony Yayo are managed by Violator Management not Sha Money, which led to him leaving G-Unit. It is not in Violator’s best interest for G-Unit to go to Island/Def Jam, just because of Sha Money XL/Money Management.
EMI probably had the better offer, considering that any re-negotiations at Universal would be mostly based on record sales. This would most likely result in a 360 deal, as Before I Self Destruct resulted in decreased sales for Interscope/Universal.
50 Cent has had publicized fueds with Def Jam executives such as Khaled Khaled and artists like Rick Ross, Shyne and Nas. This would be likely to cause a problem over at Def Jam South due to Khaled Khaled being the President of their leading Rap sub label.
In my opinion, EMI also has no stand out flagship artists, that could help them increase their U.S Urban Market share. Since Snoop Dogg took up his role at as Creative Chairman at Priority, he will have less time to record music. It appears that he is in his “cash-cow” phase of his career. Unfortuantley for EMI, WIDEawake owns his Death Row catalog, which prevents them from releasing a Snoop Dogg: Greatest Hits. (Most of his biggest hits are owned by WIDEawake).
If 50 Cent joins EMI, they have a household name, even if the artists popularity appears to have dwindled in the past few years.