Music Industry News - not Morrissey related directly

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The Seeker of Good Songs


IPO Irks Linkin Park, Wants Off Warner
May 2, 2005

Linkin Park, one of the top-selling Rock acts of the decade, has released a statement speaking out against Warner Music Group's plans to proceed with an IPO. The band say that while $750 million will be raised by the public stock offering, only about $7 million will go back into the company, with the artists not seeing a cent. With WMG cutting back in other areas, Linkin Park is concerned they will be unable to compete in the current music market.

According to the band, Linkin Park has sold roughly 10 percent of WMG's entire sales, with 35 million records sold worldwide in the past five years. "We couldn't be more grateful for the support we receive from all our fans around the world," reads the group's statement. "We feel a responsibility to get great music to our fans. Unfortunately, we believe that we can't accomplish that effectively with the current Warner Music."

Linkin Park had been scheduled to enter the studio to begin recording their next album, slated for release in the spring of next year. However, the group says they are now weighing their options and want to get off the label. The band suggests relying on touring, merchandise and endorsements, and cite examples of the internet and fan taping as alternate means to get music to their fans.

The statement quotes music attorney Peter Paterno from an article in The New York Times, where he said that the heads of WMG "who are running this thing are looking at it pretty cynically. It's becoming more and more apparent that this is nothing more than a financial play for the investors. It's not about the music or the employees; it's about a return for private equity investors. It's kind of astounding when you sit back and look at the audacity."

Linkin Park say their exit from WMG would be "disastrous" and point to the announcement earlier this year from EMI that the delaying of the new Coldplay and Gorillaz albums effected the company's financial projections for the quarter as an example of the "hit-driven" nature of the industry.
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