Thursday, September 14, 2006

一蚊美金一隻歌玩幾耐?

德國媒體巨無霸集團Bertelsmann AG早前宣布,以16億美金(約124.8億港元)出售BMG Music Publishing部門,而買家就是法國的Universal Music(環球音樂),如果歐盟和美國監管機構同意的話,交易後環球音樂就會成為全球最大的音樂版權擁有公司。

Bertelsmann AG本身是一個由家族基金會擁有的企業,除了英國《衛報》集團外,很少大型傳媒機構是由家族基金會所持有。香港人比較熟悉的相信是做唱片的Sony BMG唱片,因為不少紅星都是由Sony BMG負責出版唱片。至於歐洲最大的廣播集團之一RTL Group,以及美國主要出版商蘭登書屋(Random House),都是Bertelsmann AG旗下的子公司。

Bertelsmann AG目前仍持有百分之五十的Sony BMG,由於Bertelsmann AG未來的投資方向已經十分明顯,就是明明是集團Cash Cow(現金牛,形容為集團帶來現金流的業務)的BMG Music Publishing都出售予其他投資者,寧願問銀行借錢買Gruner + Jahr雜誌出版部門,即是反映這間巨型企業看淡音樂版權事業前途,將現時獲利能力不高的Sony BMG餘下百分之五十股權甩手,相信是遲早問題,但Sony有無興趣買回該批股權就不得而知。

至於Bertelsmann AG不想繼續投資音樂相關業務,很大程度當然因為與被視為網上翻版技術BT大行其道有關,因為音樂事業投資巨大,宣傳、錄音、製作全部都是錢,但今時今日並非每個樂迷都會買唱片,而網上音樂長期維持一蚊美金(約7.8港元)一隻的水位,利潤大不如前,相反傳統的傳播媒體,例如電視、電台、雜誌等,目前仍未受翻版影響,可以叫做「搵到餐晏仔」,故此有投資者願意出價收購BMG音樂業務,趁機出售亦「好正路」。

但歐盟同美國的反壟斷部門,會否批准這宗交易,在目前情況下仍比較難講,因為環球音樂手上亦都有很多音樂版權,如果同BMG Music Publishing合併後,很可能會令到電視台、電台同廣告公司在購買音樂版權的成本方面大幅增加,而網上音樂收費會否跟隨上升亦難料,故肯定有不少人向政府游說,反對這項交易,所以直至目前為止,環球音樂也不能太「老定」,以為這宗交易可以輕輕鬆鬆就可以過關。但這單交易對香港作曲界的影響將會十分巨大,BMG Music Publishing同環球音樂合併,大部分香港的音樂版權由一間大公司代理,是福是禍,真係大家要想清楚。

港島東成報紙傳媒重鎮

免費報紙鬥得難分難解之際,收費報紙亦主動出擊,《成報》近來改報頭兼大賣廣告,氣勢一時無兩,但禤中怡獲知,於1939年5月1日創刊的《成報》即將遷離運作多年的炮台山根據地,準備於11月遷往筲箕灣,傳媒據點又再執位。

自從星島(1105)將大本營從九龍灣移往筲箕灣後,本港報紙傳媒已分布於新界和港島兩大陣營,再沒有報紙於九龍區運作。至於《成報》搬遷後,則可望與星島做鄰居,令港島東進一步成為報紙傳媒重鎮,皆因最少有6份中文報章和兩份英文報章均坐落於該區。


(9月13日刊於《am730》)

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