According to a recent article in The New York Post, Viacom's talks to sell its catalog, Famous Music, have been heating up. Industry experts believe the unit is worth about $300 million, and well-known players in the music biz are reportedly eyeing it, including Sony/ATV Publishing, Warner Music Group
Whether Sony/ATV -- co-owned by Sony
It's also worth noting that in the sometimes confusing world of big music, Sony/ATV and Famous Music are music publishers. That means they link up artists and songwriters and issue various licenses authorizing many different uses of the content (and promote and dole out royalties related to the songs).
It seems to me Viacom would do well to get rid of a unit in a sector that has hit some hard times recently. It kind of floored me that it still owned Famous Music, since many of its slower-growing media businesses went over to CBS
There's something to be said for focus, although Viacom has been getting into some interesting new lines, such as with its acquisitions of Xfire, Harmonix Music Systems, and Atom Entertainment. If you're thinking those all focus on video games, you're right.
Video games and music are legitimate elements of media, forming some interesting symbiotic relationships. (Electronic Arts'
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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.