Indies To Benefit From Parlophone Deal

IMPALA has struck a deal with Warner Music Group that’s framed to strengthen the independent sector and help the U.S. label get its purchase of Parlophone past the European regulators.

WMG is believed to be willing to let go of up to one-third of Parlophone’s assets – or the equivalent in Warner assets – which would be made available to the indies.

“Having not blocked the sale of EMI, the result we have negotiated offers regulators the ‘best of both worlds’ in strengthening the independents by bringing more scale into the sector and by creating a more effective challenger to the Universal Sony duopoly” said IMPALA executive chair Helen Smith.

“Making sure our deal benefits labels of all sizes is a top priority and, by setting out the principles the parties agree are essential, we believe we have found a ‘blueprint’ for a market where independent artists should have a more level playing field. It is great to see Warner’s commitment to the independent sector reach fruition in this way.”

In 2007 the Brussels-based indies struck a similar deal with Warner, when the American major was making its own bid for EMI.

Charles Caldas from Merlin, the independent labels’ digital-licensing group that helped broker the deal, said: “We consistently said that the best result for our members was for the UMG/EMI transaction to be blocked outright.

“Once it became clear that this was not going to happen, and that we were going to be faced with further market concentration, we had a duty to ensure our members had the best possible chance to continue to compete.

This opportunity, to grow into what would otherwise be an unbridgeable gap between the largest majors and the rest of the market, should improve their ability to do so.”