It appears that Vivendi Universal are keen to keep hold of Universal Music. Why is this significant? Well, VU are in desperately trying to offload assets in a bid reduce debt and to stem losses. It would have been no surprise therefore for VU to opt to offload the record label division in the face of a shrinking music market. But VU clearly recognise UMG as a valuable business unit that generates huge revenues.
Itís case of whether you see the glass as half full or half empty: the crisis that faces the music industry now is not the end, but a wake-up call for change. The industry is notoriously slow to adjust, but it is already beginning to develop a new role for itself in the 21st century, and UMG are among those leading the way with utilising new technologies and platforms. The way we consume music is changing. That doesnít mean the music industry is in its death throes, but that it needs ensure it is best placed to meet our changing needs.