EMI's digital music fortunes rise, while its CD market share falls

For major UK-based record label EMI, digital music revenues rose 38% for a recent six-month period over the same six months the year before. But despite job cuts, lowered royalty payments to musicians, and other big cost savings measures, the gains on the digital side didn't offset sliding CD sales and large interest on a $2.7 billion bank loan.

EMI's share of global CD sales dropped to 9.8% from a prior level of 10.6%. Still, in results reported Friday, EMI did better on the whole during the six-month stint ended September 30, 2008 than for the earlier six-month period. The music company reported a loss of only $221.3 million, in contrast to a loss of $462.5 million before, and operating profits of $8.6 million this time around, in contrast to a loss of $285 million previously. EMI cut 1,500 jobs after a recent acquisition by privaty equity firm Terra Firma.

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