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Now that the smoke has cleared following Clive Calder’s $3 billion bombshell, the question on everyone’s lips is, what value is BMG getting in return for the elephant bucks it must shell out for the Zomba Music Group?
WHAT’S ZOMBA REALLY WORTH?
That's the $3 Billion Question on Industry Pundits' Lips as We Assess the Assets
Now that the smoke has cleared following Clive Calder’s $3 billion bombshell, the question on everyone’s lips is, what value is BMG getting in return for the elephant bucks it must shell out for the Zomba Music Group?

While the current crew of Jive acts may never again ring the cash register as dramatically as in the teenpop glory days in 1999-2000 (see chart below), their continued commercial viability shouldn’t be underestimated. Britney Spears is a genre-transcending superstar who would seem to have staying power, and NSYNC showed growth on the -boy band’s most recent album, Celebrity. On the other hand, the futures of legally challenged R. Kelly and aging boy band Backstreet Boys are more problematic. The label has uncovered a new star, though, in young Aaron Carter, assuming he can maintain his appeal through puberty. One current issue involves whether NSYNC’s Justin Timberlake is contractually obligated to give his solo album to Jive, or whether he’s free to shop it elsewhere.

On the rock side, Volcano’s Tool remains one of heavy rock’s most potent and prestigious bands, but Jive owns only half the label and must share the revenue with co-owners Q Prime.

Zomba has made a successful expansion into the gospel and contemporary-Christian business through its acquisitions of Verity and Reunion, respectively. In the first half of 2002, the company’s gospel/Christian business is responsible for about a quarter of the Zomba Group’s total marketshare, with Jars of Clay and Michael W. Smith among the heavy hitters of the Christian market.

Jive is no longer the juggernaut that wracked up a 6.7% marketshare for 2000. The label’s year-to-date share is 2.4% (putting it second among BMG labels to Arista’s 4.2%), while Zomba as a whole is at 3.3%, helped by its gospel/Christian sector’s .8%. Compare that to Zomba’s 2000 figure of 7.2%

Zomba Music Publishing has quietly but consistently landed among the top five pubberies in recent years, as it has made the transition from a metal-specializing outfit (Poison, Iron Maiden) to a broad-based company that publishes such commercial powerhouses as Linkin Park, R. Kelly, and Max Martin.

To get some idea of what the Germans are spending their deutchmarks on, here are the domestic sales tallies of Zomba’s five best-selling acts during the last two-and-a half years, the music group’s marketshare during the same period and a list of Zomba’s additional key assets.

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