Katy Perry, The Decemberists, and Snoop Dogg have an unlikely owner at their music label: Citigroup
Spare us the "Don't Know Why" rendition, Norah Jones. Citi's taking over after taking a bath as a creditor, but it's unlikely to hold the record label for long. If Citigroup has learned anything after watching music sales plunge nearly every year since peaking a decade ago it's that prerecorded music is a depreciating asset. Citi will want to smoke out a buyer before EMI grows even less valuable.
Thankfully for Citi, there are headphone-donning suckers born every minute. Warner Music Group
It seemed as if the music industry was going to make it out alive a couple of years ago when Apple's
The labels didn't play along at first. They once thought they could control digital distribution through the flawed MusicNet and pressplay ventures. They even butted heads with YouTube and felt that they were being cheated by video game publishers.
Everyone's at peace now, but nobody cares. WMG posted a widening loss in its latest quarter. Revenue fell 8%, as the slowing growth of digital sales is no match for plummeting disc sales.
Citi may not be in a hurry to unload EMI given the crummy climate for the music industry, but it's not going to get any better. This is what a record producer would call a slow fadeout.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz once had his band signed to Sony's Columbia Records label. It didn't exactly pan out. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.