In December 2007, in an effort to pacify its new owners by cutting costs, London-based record label EMI offered its resignation to the IFPI, saying it would leave the organization over “the future structure and funding of the IFPI and the national industry bodies.” Comments made by EMI chairman Guy Hands suggested that IFPI membership cost his company, and others, in excess of $250m per year.
EMI offered a deadline – either the IFPI reduced the costs associated with membership by 31st March 2008 – or EMI would leave. Now, after a few months of negotiations, it seems some sort of deal has been struck enabling EMI to stay as a member.
An IFPI spokesman said the organisation had been able to a agree a “sensible, appropriate and reasonable reduction in our budget.”
It won’t be just EMI that gets reduced rates either. The other major members – Universal, Sony and Warner will all benefit, says Jean-Francois Cecillon, president of EMI International:
“We undertook to work with our colleagues in the other major labels and with (IFPI boss) John Kennedy on a cost saving plan for the IFPI. Together we have been able to find solutions which we believe are achievable whilst maintaining what the IFPI does best in representing our industry.”
Separately, the IFPI just announced it has successfully shutdown a Direct Connect hub in Chile, specializing in metal. If they feel that this type of action is the most effective way of spending EMI’s money, no surprise they wanted to leave.