Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest record company, appears to have reached an agreement to sell the company to Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik for $3.3 billion. If this deal is approved it means that all four of the big record label groups will be foreign owned.
What does this means for Canadian radio, other than a larger percentage of the royalty fees radio stations pay for the rights to play music will now be sent to Tokyo, Paris, London and soon Moscow? To be fair this may change as Citibank is looking to sell Britain’s EMI Group Ltd., which it seized from Guy Hands’ Terra Firma private equity group in February after it defaulted on a loan. In 2009 Canadian radio paid $115 in tariff fees for the rights to play music, and this number will be even higher in 2011 with the introduction of additional tarrifs.
I wonder if and when the revised Copyright Bill (remember Bill C-32?) ever makes it back to Parliament how this will be spun by those looking to take even more money out of radio’s coffers.