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Could Sony Music be First Major To Re-Up With YouTube?

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imageA couple of nuggets from Greg Sandoval’s look at the realities of Sony (NYSE: SNE) Music Entertainment, post-BMG buyout, and what he calls the “most troubled major label around.” (I’m sure the folks at Terra Firma and EMI appreciate that.):

— Actually, this one was in Greg’s earlier post on Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and music and we should have picked it up then. While Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) and YouTube squabble publicly, his sources say that Sony is “very near” to signing the first major label renewal with YouTube. Sony BMG was last in the first time around, a role it played in other deals. It’s unclear what the actual mix will be if a deal is reached: YouTube wants to get away from the original music licensing deal that called for a minimum fee of less than a penny per music video viewing or an ad rev share split — whichever would be worth more to the label; the labels want a better shot at real money.

Digital music sales down: Slower growth would be a plus here. Sony lost digital music share between the merger with BMG in 2004 and now, dropping to 22.5 percent from 28.6 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan via CNET. Meanwhile. Warner has increased share to 22.8 percent from 18.10 percent in 2004 and a fifth of its sales are digital.

Photo Credit: Sony Music artist Alicia Keys from Jose Goulao