EMI to allow brands to sponsor artists

EMI, the ailing record company, is planning to offer brands the chance to sponsor its artists for the first time. The plan aims to boost flagging revenue at the company, which is owned by private equity company Terra Firma.

Guy Hands, the chief executive of Terra Firma (pictured), will reveal plans today (January 15) as he seeks to reassure disgruntled acts who have been threatening to effectively strike.

Coldplay, Robbie Williams and The Verve have all said they may withhold their next albums until they receive assurances from Hands about EMI’s ability to market and distribute them as well as the company’s wider financial health.†

Terra Firma bought the ailing music group for £4 billion last year. Hands has angered EMI’s top acts with cost cutting plans, which include slashing the company’s marketing budget from 20% of total spending to as little as 12%. EMI artists have also been infuriated at the suggestion that their advances will also be subject to major cuts.

It is understood some that it will also be announced today that the record company is planning to bring its sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution together in one division and under one management team. It will also increase its focus on its digital business in a bid to boost sales.

It is thought that Hands will also announce plans to cut as many as 2000 jobs at EMI, a third of its staff.

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