EMI Mines Its Music Vaults


What do you do if no one’s buying new music anymore? Sell old music. Yesterday EMI announced it has hired Saatchi and Saatchi to figure out how to better exploit its back catalogue, which is impressive and valuable: Beatles, Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, etc.

Some music business sceptics have long suggested that this should be a full-time strategy for the labels: That is, stop recording and distributing new music altogether, and simply focus on managing your existing assets. The music business axiom is that 9 out of 10 new albums fail commercially, and that rule of thumb may be even worse given today’s wretched sales climate.

Of course, the counter- argument to this is that you can’t expand the old catalogue without investing in new stuff, and when you make new stuff you can also occasionally hit the jackpot. And there’s the unspoken argument: If you stop signing and recording new acts, the music business stops being fun. But a private equity buyer like Terra Firma, which is about to spend $5 billion on EMI, may be perfectly happy trading fun and risk for steady returns. Release after the jump.

Related: Terra Firma’s EMI Problem: How To Fix The Music Business


New York, New York – August 14, 2007 -EMI Music Marketing’s catalogue unit in the US has enlisted Saatchi & Saatchi to help develop and execute strategic consumer marketing campaigns for key titles from its legendary catalogue of albums for both physical and digital formats.

Featuring some of the world’s best-known musical artists, EMI’s catalogue of recordings includes albums from The Band, The Beatles, Beach Boys, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Steve Miller Band, Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, The Rolling Stones and Nat King Cole.  Saatchi & Saatchi will apply its signature Lovemarks philosophy, strategic planning prowess and groundbreaking ideas to help EMI connect these legendary artists with music fans and to  boost sales across a variety of formats, including physical CDs and DVDs, as well as for EMI’s premium DRM-free, higher-quality downloads and mobile music products. 

“Saatchi & Saatchi has demonstrated a keen ability to create deep emotional connections and inspire extremely strong consumer loyalty,” said Ronn Werre, President of EMI Music Marketing.  He added:  “We look forward to collaborating with Saatchi and developing ways to enlist current and future fans to discover and rediscover our music in exciting and unexpected ways.”

Saatchi’s Worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts noted:  “EMI artists have captured hearts all over the world – they are the ultimate Lovemarks.  We look forward to introducing music lovers everywhere to classic and new tracks that will change their world.”

EMI Music Marketing will work with Saatchi & Saatchi’s Los Angeles office to develop campaign concepts for the US and adapt them for EMI Music territories around the world.

About EMI Music
EMI Music is the recorded music division of EMI Group, one of the world’s largest independent music companies. Its EMI Music division represents artists spanning all musical tastes and genres. Its record labels include Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Nashville, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Records, EMI Televisa Music, Manhattan, Mute, Parlophone and Virgin. Artists on EMI labels include Lily Allen, The Beatles, Coldplay, Corinne Bailey Rae, The Good The Bad & The Queen, Gorillaz, Norah Jones, The Kooks, Korn, Kylie Minogue, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Joss Stone, 30 Seconds To Mars, KT Tunstall, Keith Urban and Robbie Williams, as well as international artists such as Amaral (Spain), Diam’s (France), Utada Hikaru (Japan), LaFee (Germany), Radja (Indonesia), RBD (Mexico) and Vasco Rossi (Italy).

EMI has been at the cutting edge of the rapidly growing digital music marketplace since it released David Bowie’s ‘Hours’ as the world’s first ever album to be offered as a digital download in 1999. EMI has signed agreements with hundreds of digital partners to distribute its music across the globe, including most recently its premium DRM-free, higher-quality offering sold through partners including Apple iTunes, Amazon.com, PassAlong Networks and more.  It continues to facilitate the development of a growing range of new digital business models to enable fans to experience and purchase its artists’ output through a number of different platforms including making its videos available for access via YouTube, advertising-supported online music streaming in China through Baidu, legal peer-to-peer agreements with QTrax, Mashboxx and GNAB, and a deal to offer advertising-supported videos on mobile phones in the US through Rhythm NewMedia.

About Saatchi & Saatchi
Ideas company Saatchi & Saatchi is a global network with 153 offices and is part of Publicis Groupe, the world’s fourth largest communications group.  Recently awarded the JCPenney and Wendy’s businesses, its New York office was named “2007 Agency of the Year” at the Cannes and Clio international ad festivals. The Agency handles more than 40 #1 brands in its client portfolio, including Toyota; Tide, Pampers and Olay (Procter & Gamble); and Sony Ericsson.  Saatchi & Saatchi is known for its exceptional strength at understanding the emotional connections between consumers and products. This approach comes to life through Lovemarks, the methodology designed to create loyalty beyond reason.