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Lucian, Edgar debate state of biz in responses to Sen. Kohl

THE GREAT DEBATE: Lucian Grainge and Edgar Bronfman expressed radically differing views of the state of the music biz in their written responses to questions from Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), who held those hearings last month to weigh the pros and cons of the UMG-EMI deal, the N.Y. Post’s Claire Atkinson reports. In letters to the execs, Kohl cited figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers predicting 18% growth over the next five years. “Universal made a $671 million profit on revenues of over $5.5 billion last year, a healthy 12%t return,” Kohl wrote. “Are you asserting the poor economic health of the music industry as a reason for this merger?” Grainge portrayed an industry in decline, saying the figures reflect global revenues and merchandising and not just the recorded music slice of the pie. “By nearly any measure, the recorded music market has declined by 40% over [the past decade] not ‘doubled’,” he wrote in his response. Bronfman had a vastly different take. “The music industry is not in such poor health that it needs further consolidation to survive,” he wrote. “The RIAA recently reported that in 2011 total US music shipments were up for the first time since 2004, the number of users of music subscription services jumped 19% and digital single sales were up 13%. ” (7/20a)

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