Over the last few years, the major labels have made small investments in startups, but aside from UMG‘s acquisition of EMI, not made many deals to purchase other labels. Now there are signals that major label tech investments could get larger and indie label and event acquisitions are likely to increase.
Speaking to investors, Arnaud de Puyfontaine, who leads Universal Music Group’s parent company Vivendi, pointed to the 90% stake they recently acquired in YouTube rival DailyMotion. “Of course, Dailymotion is small in comparisons to YouTube, but it is a safe bet that it will grow rapidly in the future,” he said. “The numerous opportunities for collaborations between Dailymotion and Vivendi assets, such as UMG and Canal+ Group, can be deployed rapidly…”
Vivendi’s appetite for related acquisitions doesn’t stop there, and they have $7.1 billion in cash to finance it. “While strengthening our main businesses, we’re considering bolt-on acquisition in content creation and distribution.”
Another area of keen interest is live events. UMG recently launched a Latin festival in Los Angeles and purchased a 50% stake in Indian festival the Enchanted Valley Carnival. Other industry sources point to Sony’s multi-million acquisition of indie metal label Century Media that major label interest in buying indie catalog is also increasing.