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Guardian critique of UMG-EMI

CAUTIONARY TALE: In a pointed critique of UMG-EMI, The Guardian’s Helienne Lindvall cites Universal’s acquisition of V2 Records. “In 2007,” she writes, “Universal stated: ‘Following its recent acquisition of the V2 Music Group from Morgan Stanley, Universal Music has committed to continuing the V2 label, with its own roster of unique artists, and to continuing Cooperative Music, representing independent labels in international markets. This commitment is international in scope, and will give new resources and new energy to the V2 identity, its heritage and its artists.’ A week later, when 90% of V2's staff faced redundancy, its managing director, David Steele, told Music Week: ‘Some of us hoped they would try to re-energise the whole label and some feared they would just asset strip it. Obviously it appears to be the latter. But that's the way the whole industry is going. Labels get bought and they lose their identity, and V2 is another one that's gone.’ Universal has plenty of incredibly passionate and knowledgeable people working for it who clearly care about the artists they work with, as do all music groups. As Michel Lambot, founder of music licensing and distribution company PIAS, said recently: "I don't hate major labels—I just wish there were more of them.’” (3/9a)

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