Martin Elbourne On HMV

From: Martin Elbourne
Subject: HMV
Date: January 14, 2013 1:29:47 PM PST

UK last chain.
In administration in morning.
Just come up on BBC.

Virgin France went under last week.

Apparently Fnac about to as well.
Big hit for the labels.



From: Martin Elbourne
Sent: Wednesday, 16 January 2013 12:19 AM

For those of you who didn’t get my email last night, HMV, the last music store chain in UK and Ireland has gone into administration.
It does not affect the Great Escape as there was a management buyout a month ago.
It does affect 230 shops and 4,000 staff.

And 40 per cent of the physical music market in the UK.
And much higher proportion of the many acts who never get near a supermarket shelf.

For what it’s worth, this is my prediction of likely outcome – a new HMV with more like 50 shops.
Most if not all of independent distributors to go bankrupt.
Virgin France (no 2 in France went under recently..Fnac the biggest in France, Spain, etc. about to as well.)

If you are owed money by an independent distributor in Europe budget not to get it.
Of course will be knock on effect on indy labels…many will go under.
Pias..who distribute Adele, not been paid since September (they are strongest.)

Be prepared to write off money…renegotiate deals.

Any artist who relies on sales in Europe preparing to record 70 minute CDs is a moron now.
Those days are gone…big time.

Which I think is no bad thing.

In fact, apart from obvious bad news for employees, small companies, long term..
Much more level playing field.

In short, will be shite year followed by good healthy things.

Later Martin


From: Martin Elbourne
Sent: Wednesday, 16 January 2013 6:32 AM

My final thought is that effectively for vast majority of acts we work  with physical cd thing now dead.
Or it’s like vinyl now.

But I do remember two years ago at Musexpo in L.A. a very good indie label panel.

After moaning for half an hour they suddenly all agreed that would
actually be great news for their business when physical died.
The drop in sales offset, but no stock worries, accounting hassle, etc etc.
No sales force.
Level playing field with majors (apart from supermarket acts).

And for artists don’t need to make 70 minute crap ‘albums’ anymore.

I’m beginning to sound like Lefsetz..this is dangerous

And another plus point…means zero reason to go to Midem anymore.

Why on earth would you sub-license anything?

PS: Sandy, enjoy Midem.

Martin Elbourne

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