EMI remaining in IFPI ranks


LONDON -- EMI has ended several months of speculation by confirming it will remain a member of global labels body IFPI.

In December 2007, the London-based major had tendered a conditional resignation from the IFPI, which would take effect March 31 unless a solution was found to issues EMI had over "the future structure and funding of the IFPI and the national industry bodies."

That had followed comments EMI Group chairman Guy Hands had reportedly made via a letter to the other major labels, claiming that it costs labels $250 million globally per year to support the international body plus its affiliates the RIAA (U.S.) and BPI (U.K.).

That figure was refuted by IFPI, which estimated that that membership of IFPI and various national groups cost the major record companies 64 million pounds ($129 million) annually.

EMI's decision to remain in IFPI followed high-level meetings in recent months between the four majors and the body. EMI and IFPI decline to comment further on the issue. Although no details of any cost-saving measures are yet available, Billboard.biz has learned that the restructuring deal which has been struck applies to all the major labels.

In a statement issued Monday, EMI Music international labels president Jean-Francois Cecillon said: "We undertook to work with our colleagues in the other major labels and with (IFPI chairman/chief executive) John Kennedy on a cost saving plan for the IFPI and together we have been able to find solutions which we believe are achievable whilst maintaining what the IFPI does best in representing our industry."

He continued: "I am glad to say that on the basis of those discussions we have been able to confirm our continued membership of the IFPI and we look forward to working with the IFPI on the crucial issues that our industry faces."

Kennedy added: "I am delighted that EMI has decided to continue working with IFPI. It is extremely valuable for us to have their support in trying to address the many different challenges the recording industry is facing and addressing."

IFPI represents more than 1,400 member labels in more than 73 countries and works with affiliated national groups in 48 countries. The majors' membership of the RIAA and BPI is not affected by the new agreement. A BPI spokesman said, "No such conditional resignation has, or ever was tendered by EMI to BPI."