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New EMI-Capitol arm to focus on catalog

EMI Capitol Music Group has bowed EMI-Capitol Entertainment Properties, a new unit designed to focus considerable marketing resources on the release of catalog product while creating and developing new product lines.

The new structure will allow the labels within the EMI family to concentrate on their core business of breaking and developing artists, while Entertainment Properties execs release reissues and compilations and develop alternate ways of reaching consumers interested in the conglom’s artists.

Kirkland takes post

Bruce Kirkland, exec veep of Capitol Records, has been tapped as prexy of the new company, which will be a stand-alone entity with its own A&R, product development, marketing, sales and finance. It is the first company of its kind established by a major domestic music group.

The formation of the new arm had been expected, and the move portends changes in the exec suites at Capitol Records (Daily Variety, Oct. 30, 1996).

“The goal is to take our rich catalogue and give it the same kind of focus that the labels give to their artists,” said Charles Koppelman, chairman-CEO of EMI-Capitol Music Group. “Having one company whose only concern is to market the catalog will free our labels to take their acts to the next level, and give (Bruce) the resources to successfully manage our rich catalog.”

‘Sales laboratory’

Entertainment Properties will use traditional methods of getting albums to consumers, such as record retailers, as well as explore less conventional means such as direct response, the Internet and book stores. It will also create private label brands for music and non-music retailers.”We’re designing a strategic marketing company that will find ways of getting the music to the consumer, rather than waiting for the consumer to find the music at a local store,” Kirkland told Daily Variety. “I want to be the laboratory to test new sales avenues, release our product through alternate means and create custom labels whose brand (strikes) an instant recognition with consumers.”

The special markets division, which handles mail order, a budget product line and music licensing, will now be under Kirkland’s aegis. Exec VP Eli Okun now reports to Kirkland.

Koppelman said the formation of the new arm is the evolution of his five-year plan, begun when he took over EMI more than three years ago. Following the significant changes in the conglom’s record companies, Koppelman restructured distribution.

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