EMI Wants To Be Indie

One of the main stories from this year’s Midem is that EMI has tried to join the U.K.’s Association of Independent Music (AIM).

Based on an interview with Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills, whose artists include bands like The Prodigy, Lemon Jelly, and Basement Jaxx, Financial Times reported that EMI company chief Eric Nicoli had been behind the move.

According to the paper, AIM has been politely rejecting Nicoli’s claims that EMI was "Britain’s largest indie" on the grounds of market share.

Mills reportedly said he’s sympathetic to EMI’s plight, as the way it deals with its artists is much more in tune with independent record companies.

"EMI does care about artistic integrity, and the record label’s artists tend to like working for it, compared with its peers, which tend to be much more commercially focused and ruthless in its treatment of artists.

The FT raised the question of whether EMI is "a molly-coddling and indulgent label or a caring and artistically credible record company."

It also speculated on whether Martin Bandier, the departing head of EMI Music Publishing, pulled out of a January 21st seminar at the last minute because he was launching a rumoured bid for EMI Music Publishing.

Just prior to Midem, Jean-François Cecillon was appointed chairman and chief executive of EMI Music International, looking after continental Europe, Japan, Asia, Latin America and Australia/New Zealand and reporting to Nicoli. He was formerly chairman and chief exec of EMI Music Continental Europe.

Ian Hanson, formerly senior vice president, chairman’s office, EMI Music, has been promoted to the global role of chief operating officer for EMI Music, also reporting to Nicoli.

As part of his new role, Hanson assumes responsibility for the division’s business affairs and operations functions, including global distribution, manufacturing and digital supply chain.