Tag Archive: business


Sony Building Tokyo P

The conglomerate will book proceeds of $445 million in its current quarter for the sale of its Sony City Osaki building, following a similar deal for its U.S. headquarters.

TOKYO – Sony will book proceeds of $445 million (41 billion yen) for the current financial quarter after the sale of its Sony City Osaki office building in central Tokyo, the company said Thursday.

The electronics and entertainment giant sold the 25-story building to a Japanese property fund and institutional investor for $1.2 billion (111.1 billion yen) but will stay in the premises under a lease — an arrangement similar to the company’s recent sale of its New York headquarters.

The building currently houses approximately 5,000 employees, including the company’s crucial, but loss-making, TV division. Plans to sell the building, the second-largest of its properties in Japan after its HQ, were announced last month.

Also last month, Sony sold off part of its stake in internet medical-services company M3 to Deutsche Securities.

Sony has also been investing: it became the largest shareholder in Olympus Corp last week after increasing its stake in the troubled camera and medical equipment maker to 11.5 percent.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/YDUpx2

Sony shares have risen more than 50 percent since December when they hit a multi-decade low.

 

 

It may be a digital age, but live is still the big cash driver for the top 40 earners on our annual list

The U.S. music business offers a matrix of trends to satisfy chart watchers and number crunchers. New CD sales continue to fall. Digital music sales are rising nearly 10 years after the launch of the iTunes Music Store. Streaming and subscription revenue are growing as music lovers choose easy access over-and, sometimes, in addition to-physical ownership.

Concerts make up 68.9% of revenue for the 40 artists on Billboard’s Moneymakers list, which tallies artists’ annual earnings. Remove Adele and Taylor Swift, both of whom didn’t earn any U.S. touring income in 2012, and the average increases to 72.5%-a figure on par with the 72.6% in 2010 and the 68.3% that touring represented in 2011.

Madonna tops the 2012 list, in part because 93.5% of her total revenue came from concerts. Bruce Springsteen, a close second, earned 92% of his revenue from live shows. Roger Waters, a distant third, had the highest concert share on the list with 93.6%. The entire top 10 averaged 84.2% of their income from concerts, and the number would have been higher, if not for Justin Bieber‘s mere 60.1% share at No. 10 dragging down the average.

Billboard estimates the 2012 Moneymakers artists pocketed $373 million from concerts after paying agents, managers and expenses. That was up from $329 million in 2011 but down from $383 million in 2010. For all Moneymakers artists, touring income accounted for 72.8% of revenue in 2011 and 75.1% of revenue in 2012. Artists at the top of the list got an even greater share of revenue from touring. A top 10 artist made 84.2% of income from concerts in 2012 compared with 75.8% in 2011 and 81.7% in 2010.

Touring wasn’t vital for every act on the Moneymakers list. Two major artists, Swift — who topped last year’s rankings — and Adele, made the list without any concert earnings for the year. Meanwhile, two others-Mumford & Sons and Maroon 5-pocketed less than $1 million in concert earnings for 2012. In percentage terms, touring accounted for just 12.6% of Mumford & Sons’ total revenue and only about 2.6% of Maroon 5’s total.

Artists who made less than $1 million on the road tended to make more from recorded music — just as the negative correlation between concert revenue and music sales suggests should happen. Adele and Swift averaged $7.2 million in recorded-music sales while Mumford & Sons and Maroon 5 averaged about $3.2 million. The other 36 acts on the Moneymakers list, who each earned more than $1 million from touring in 2012, averaged just $2.3 million in recorded-music sales.

Read more details here:  http://bit.ly/15HmGru

Streaming revenue wasn’t terribly important to any artist’s overall income as measured by Billboard-not even those artists with little to no touring income. This isn’t to say streaming didn’t have an indirect impact on these artists’ revenue. Without the promotional benefit of, say, YouTube, some albums would have hardly been as successful as they were last year. But in terms of pure, direct revenue, streaming provided a mere pittance for music’s top earners.

Maroon 5 had the highest streaming share of 2012’s Moneymakers list with 3.5%. Within that, the highest noninteractive streaming share was 0.5%, or one-seventh of the total. Drake had the second-highest streaming share with 3.3%, and One Direction had the third with 2.5%. It’s not surprising that Maroon 5’s “Payphone” and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” were the No. 5 and No. 6 tracks, respectively, on Spotify in the United States in 2012. (Maroon 5 had two more songs in Spotify’s top 100 of the year.)

 

 

 

If Spotify and Pandora Are the Future, Do Artists Have One?

Psy
“Wait, 1.2 billion views and you’re paying me 0.6 cents a view?” / Photo by Getty Images

Streaming services’ growth stirs debate over slim royalties

The New York Times has seen the future of music, and it doesn’t look good for musicians.

As the Times reports, the comparatively teensy amount artists earn from streaming services has caused concern throughout the industry.

While the average musician might earn 7 to 10 cents on an iTunes download, artists receive a fraction of a fraction of a cent each time their songs are played on streaming services. That’s not terrible if you’re Psy, who a Google executive recently said had earned $8 million on the 1.2 billion views for “Gangnam Style,” a rate of roughly 0.6 cents per view. It’s less good if you’re Zoe Keating, a self-described “avant cello” musician who late last year revealed that despite getting more than 1.5 million plays on Pandora in a six-month span, she received less than $1,700. Spotify was a bit kinder: Her 131,000 plays last year yielded almost $550.

Pandora, for one, lobbied last year for permission to lower its royalty rates, which unlike Spotify’s are set by law. A wide range of artists, from Brian Wilson to Rihanna, opposed the leigslation, the so-called Internet Radio Fairness Act. So did the American Association of Independent Music, which represents many prominent indie labelsBillboard reports that the legislation isn’t completely dead and is “just hibernating.”

Artists might dream of penny royalties, but streaming service providers are swimming in big bucks. Pandora is publicly traded, with a share price that values it at nearly $2 billion. Spotify isn’t public, but its investors have reportedly pegged its value at $3 billion. To put that into perspective, the entire music industry saw revenues of roughly $7 billion in 2011, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Streaming service companies might be worth a lot on paper, but they’re not contributing much to the record business just yet. Pandora had $202 million in “content acquisition costs” in its last four reported quarters, and Spotify recently said it had made $500 million in royalty payments, the Times notes. That pales in comparison to music downloads’ $2.6 billion in 2011 sales.

Read more here: http://www.spin.com/articles/streaming-services-artist-royalties-spotify-pandora-youtube-debate?utm_source=spintwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=spintwitter

CBS Sony Logo Split - H 2012

Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wieser said CBS would gain exposure in fast-growing countries.

CBS should buy Sony Pictures Entertainment, a Wall Street analyst said in a research note Tuesday.

Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group told clients that CBS will have cash for major acquisitions now that it has decided to turn CBS Outdoor in the Americas into an REIT while selling off the European portion of that business, as hollywoodreporter.com

“First and foremost, among potential targets we think that at the right price, SPE offers a very strong fit for CBS,” he wrote.

“If we assume SPE were worth around $10 billion in enterprise value and were capable of high-single-digit profit margins, such an acquisition would not be dilutive and would be strategically beneficial,” wrote Wieser. Read more about the article here: http://bit.ly/10vMIbW

The analyst also noted that CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves has expressed an interest in SPE.”Moonves indicated in the press that SPE is the kind of business that CBS would be interested in purchasing,” Wieser wrote. “However, Sony has reiterated several times that the division is not for sale.”

Blockbuster closes 23 Scots stores

People walk past Blockbusters store (file photo 2010)
Blockbuster UK has closed more than 100 outlets in the past few years

DVD rental firm Blockbuster is to close 23 stores in Scotland, after it went into administration earlier this month.

The stores, as bbc.co.uk reported, which employ more than 100 staff, include four in Edinburgh, four in Glasgow and two in Dundee.

The remaining 43 stores will remain open while attempts are made to find a buyer.

UK-wide 760 jobs will go, with 129 further stores closing and 368 still trading. It had already given 31 stores notice of closure.

The chain has 528 stores and employs 4,190 staff.

Read more about the story at http://bbc.in/T0L4l4

 

Collapsed HMV refuses to accept gift vouchers as more than 4,000 workers face the axe and administrators warn of mass closures

  • Retailer has struggled in the face of growing demand for digital downloads
  • Company had a poor Christmas sales period despite 35% sales reduction
  • Almost 300 stores and 4,350 staff face uncertainty as negotiations unfold
  • Administrator announces gift cards will not be accepted in stores

Warning: This sign in a Liverpool branch of HMV tells customers they could lose out

Thousands of gift cards given as Christmas presents are worthless as HMV announced it would no longer accept vouchers after collapsing into administration.

The historic music shop has become the latest high street victim of the financial crisis and double-dip recession, and its 4,000 employees are facing the axe if a ‘white knight’ rescuer cannot be found for the chain.

City firm Deloitte was brought in to take charge last night after crisis talks failed to find another solution – putting HMV on course to be the second household name to go under this year.

Today it was revealed that the chain will no longer accept gift cards and vouchers as Deloitte takes charge of the 238 stores.

Threatened: HMV could be forced to close its shops and lay off 4,000 staff after going into administrationThreatened: HMV could be forced to close its shops and lay off 4,000 staff after going into administration

Sale: Customers will be hoping for bargains from the administration of HMVSale: Customers will be hoping for bargains from the administration of HMV
Many Twitter users reacted with fury to the announcement that the shops will no longer accept its own gift cards as payment, just weeks after hundreds of them were bought as Christmas presents.

‘It’s a p*** take that HMV won’t accept vouchers,’ @Meygziie wrote, while @KevinAshford7 said, ‘That’s my £20 Christmas gift voucher going in the bin.’ @NiceEtoile added: ‘How is this legal?’

BBC journalist Hugh Pym was one of the customers affected by the controversial decision. He took to Twitter to write: ‘Oh dear. Administrators say HMV won’t accept gift vouchers – inc my teenagers’ Christmas pressie.’

The cards are currently worthless, but if HMV finds a buyer it is possible that the new owner will honour them, meaning that it may be worth people’s while to hold on to the cards.

The writing had been on the wall since the run-up to Christmas, when dire sales figures forced the firm to admit it might breach the terms of its bank loans.

Disappointment: Journalist Hugh Pym was among the customers who had bought HMV gift cardsDisappointment: Journalist Hugh Pym was among the customers who had bought HMV gift cards

HMV
Warning: This sign in a Liverpool branch of HMV tells customers they could lose out

HMV’s banks – state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds – said they were unwilling to go on lending it money.

The move to go into administration follows the closure of camera chain Jessops with the loss of 1,300 jobs at the weekend.

It is still possible that a ‘white knight’ buyer could ride to the company’s rescue at the last minute, buying part or all of its 230-strong network of stores. If not it will mean the end of a name that has graced the high street since 1921.

There was no sign of a saviour for HMV today, after US-based investment firm Apollo Management walked away from takeover talks.

Web users paid tribute to the legendary chain as they shared memories of shopping at HMV – but some took a more cynical tone. Rapper Professor Green tweeted: ‘HMV bankrupt. We may as well just give up on any medium that involves hard copy and get on with it. #sadtimes’

Struggling: The venerable chain has been hit hard by the rise of digital music and online retailers

Struggling: The venerable chain has been hit hard by the rise of digital music and online retailers

Change: Shoppers have spurned physical copies of music, film and books in favour of downloads

Change: Shoppers have spurned physical copies of music, film and books in favour of downloads

Jeremy Vine
Nipper

Jokes: Twitter users, including the BBC’s Jeremy Vine, posted witty pictures about HMV’s demise

CARNAGE ON THE HIGH STREET

HMV’s announcement that it is to go into administration makes it the latest in a long line of high-profile high street firms to fail – the most visible legacy of the financial crisis and subsequent double-dip recession.

December 2008: MFI, the furniture retailer, was one of the first major firms to go out of business at the start of the downturn, as retail sales began to fall following a sharp rise in unemployment

Woolworths

January 2009: Woolworths, right, shuttered its 800 stores, bringing home to many the scale of the UK’s economic collapse as the country entered recession for the first time

February 2009: Zavvi, HMV’s chief rival, stopped trading around Christmas – and refused to honour its gift cards, leading to widespread customer anger

Borders

December 2009: Borders, right, was another entertainment behemoth to go under as sale of CDs and DVDs were squeezed by digital downloads and online retailers

October 2012: JJB Sports closed all but 20 of its stores, which were taken over and re-branded by Sports Direct – leading to the death of the JJB brand and 550 employees losing their jobs

Comet

December 2012: Comet, right, shut down just before Christmas, leaving nearly 7,000 staff out of work and forcing the taxpayer to pick up a £50million tab related to its bankruptcy, which was blamed on soaring energy prices and a reduction in the number of home buyers

January 2013: Jessops was closed by administrator PwC earlier this month after years of struggling with online competition as customers turned away from traditional photography

NEXT? Past Times, Blacks and Hawkin’s Bazaar are among the many other firms which have entered administration but been able to survive in some form. However, as the economic recovery remains fragile these companies could tip back into serious trouble.

Labour business spokesman Chuka Umunna said: ‘For the sake of HMV’s employees, we hope a way can be found to keep the business going – the demise of this institution would be a body blow to British retail.’

Administrators could opt to keep stores open during the process in order to raise funds by shifting as much stock as possible. HMV failed to keep pace with the digital revolution, as shoppers turned to online retailers such as Amazon.

Internet firms were able to undercut the company thanks to lower overheads.

It has also been under attack from supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury, which are able to offer discount DVDs and CDs thanks to their size.

The beginning of this year has seen HMV offer massive discounts in the hope of filling its stores and boosting revenues.

But despite the efforts, dismal Christmas sales were the final straw for the firm’s banks. HMV is understood to have asked them for a £300million lifeline, but was turned down on the evidence of its recent performance.

The decision by RBS and Lloyds to pull the plug on HMV is likely to cause a backlash, given that they were both bailed out by British taxpayers during the financial crisis.

The appeal for help from the two lenders came just days after the company asked suppliers to give it £300million to pay off its debt and revamp its business model.

That request was also turned down.

If HMV’s stores do close down, they will push up the sky-high vacancy rate on British high streets. More than one in nine stores is currently standing empty, according to the British Retail Consortium, as consumer confidence continues to flounder in the wake of the struggling economic recovery.

Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy Conlumino, said the collapse of HMV was inevitable.

‘While many failures of recent times have been, at least in part, driven by the economy, HMV’s demise is a structural failure,’ he said.

‘In the digital era where 73.4 per cent of music and film are downloaded or bought online, HMV’s business model has simply become increasingly irrelevant and unsustainable.’

Are you an HMV employee affected by the news? Please call 0203 615 3594 or email hugo.gye@dailymail.co.uk

Flagship: HMV's store on Oxford St pictured in 1939, offering 'home entertainment and electric housekeeping'Flagship: HMV’s store on Oxford St pictured in 1939, offering ‘home entertainment and electric housekeeping’
Nipper the Dog
HMV delivery van

Iconic: Nipper the dog, left, and the HMV delivery van, right, are among the famous symbols of the store

HMV ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION AFTER 90 YEARS ON THE HIGH STREET

His Master's Voice painting

HMV stands for His Master’s Voice, the name of an 1898 painting of a dog called Nipper listening to a cylinder phonograph (right).

Rights to the image were bought the following year by the Gramophone Company, who asked the artist to repaint the work with a wind-up gramophone.

The Gramophone Company opened the first HMV store on Oxford Street, central London, on 20 July 1921.

It later merged with the Columbia Gramophone Company in 1931, to become EMI. They opened HMV stores across the UK and by 1977 had 39 stores stretching from Glasgow to Brighton.

The Oxford Street store played an important part in helping the Beatles land their record deal – setting them on the path to becoming the biggest band in history.

In February 1962, the band had just been rejected by Decca Records, who famously said that ‘guitar groups are on the way out’.

Undeterred, manager Brian Epstein paid a visit to HMV to transfer the band’s demo tape to disc – and the engineer who helped him was so impressed he called a music publisher down to hear the record.

The publisher got in touch with George Martin, who was quick to sign up the band and later produced their legendary albums.

HMV Media Group broke away from EMI in 1998. Today the group runs 239 stores in the UK and Ireland. It owned bookshop chain Waterstones until last year.

The company has 4,350 employees in the UK.

Nipper, the subject of the HMV logo, is buried in Kingston upon Thames in a small park surrounded by magnolia trees. A small road nearby was renamed Nipper Alley in his memory in 2010.

 

–written by rob davies and hugo gye for dailymail.co.uk all image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

 

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