EMI Buys Loudclothing

EMI is going into the swag business by buying Loudclothing.com, a Leicester-based retailer of band T-shirts and other artist merchandise.

It has purchased the company from Completely Independent Distribution, whose founder Nic Wastell will now become EMI’s European VP of merchandise. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

EMI teamed with AEG and Live Nation to set up a merchandising unit in April, and the acquisition of Loudclothing should boost its online sales.

With EMI parent Terra Firma entering into what may be a bloody war with Citigroup – the US investment bank that loaned it £2.6 billion to buy EMI – it will be keen to develop new revenue streams.

Universal Music Group acquired a merchandising business when it acquired Sanctuary Music Group, which included management company 21st Artistes and Helter Skelter agency.

A month ago the UK label set up another new revenue stream with Abbey Road Live, which will record live gigs and sell the recordings to fans as they leave, as well as online.