Warner Music, Music Business At Record Lows

Two related items:

• U.S. album sales — both physical and digital — dropped 15% to 500 million units in 2007, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Nielsen says that’s the lowest total it’s seen since it began tracking the stat in 1993.

• Warner Music Group is trading at a record-low $5.30 per share. WMG’s market cap is now $800 million, so even if you factor in a takeover premium and $2 billion of net debt, anyone who wants to buy one of the four biggest music companies in the world should be able to do so for about $3 billion ($2 billion less than the asking price for the Weather Channel).

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