Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pascal Negro leaves the flagship Universal – Liberation

After Canal +, Vincent Bolloré waltzed heads at Universal. Pascal Negro, 54, his iconic boss unpayable jackets (and member of the global board of the world’s leading music) has to pay the price. His contract, which expired on 31 December, was not renewed although the latter had not hidden its intention to re-enlist for one or two years. At the head of the French branch for 21 years, this former radio DJ and press officer is replaced by the rising figure of Universal Music, Olivier Nusse, CEO of Mercury and Decca Records labels France, which are among the main brands of this Staff 100% owned by Vivendi. The rumors of his replacement had intensified in recent weeks as the person told the Le Figaro in late January that it would take 1 February to determine its future in the house of the street Fosses Saint-Jacques, in the fifth arrondissement of Paris.

Very close to the artist and his fellow producers, president longtime SCPP, the main collecting society for music producers, Pascal Negro was latent conflict since the beginning of autumn with the principal shareholder and strong man of Vivendi Vincent Bolloré. This would add to it Olivier Nusse the number two position in order to control it and make it fit into a logical group of more “corporate”, actively working with other subsidiaries of the Vivendi group. Not really taste very independent and long almighty CEO of Universal France which over the years had extended its territory by expanding its activities in the Middle East and North Africa, the Mediterranean (Italy, Spain, Portugal) and especially “new business” Universal Music he had global responsibility in 2013. in late December, Pascal Negro had finally met at length and head to head Breton billionaire to be explained to him. But between the producer extrovert showman, entertainer also in appearance as formidable businessman and big boss Bolloré who intends see Universal Music play an active role in Africa, the current went wrong. Question of culture, style course.

A tireless activist pay models for distributing music over the Internet, architect and supporter of Hadopi and its “graduated response” , Pascal Negro had some grilled at the time to add strength to the teaching of the radar and of the fine for recalcitrant. The point of becoming the head of Turkish anti-Hadopi who saw him as a caricature of the old producer. It was then more discreet before being the champion of the streaming which it ensures that it will “someday” to music to find its golden age of early 2000, just before the emergence of Napster and peer-to-peer. “The number of French subscribers to paid music offerings on demand subscription exceeded 3 million or 5% of the French population” , he explained recently in Libération . Streaming becomes a consumer product, he added, taking the example of Sweden and Spotify and may well eventually reach 10 to 12 million paying subscribers in the hexagon and return turnover business 2000s it would be a dream but it is possible, concluded that this eternal optimist predicts a return to growth in the music industry in 2018.

with him is Universal maintains a bestseller

This figure of the world of music has helped make Universal music the archi-dominant major of the hexagonal music market with a share of 45% market. An almost unique situation in the world for this record label that has continued to grow in the French landscape as and as the industry plunged into crisis and its competitors, deprived of the firepower of marketing a Universal, were dropping. Very comfortable with the media, Pascal Negro has even become a way of ephemeral public character by participating as jury in the reality TV show Star Academy, co-produced by Universal between 2001 and 2008 on TF1. In its statement, Universal said that his successor Olivier Nusse he participated as a jury member in Popstars on M6 in 2003.

Pascal Negro who took the head of Polygram in 1994 before that of Universal Music France in 1998 particularly actively participated in the launch of artists like Khaled, Zebda, faudel or Rachid Taha. At the head of a group that has stepped up restructuring in recent years due to the crisis of the disc, Pascal Negro has allowed Universal to remain the top seller by combining the exploitation of large catalog of international licenses (U2, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas) with signed artists and developed in France: Zazie Florent Pagny, Calogero, Bénabar, Mika. In recent years, he relied heavily successfully on urban music with new artists out of the stable as Universal Nekfeu.

Universal Music still has 650 employees today to 300 million euros in revenue in France, about half of all fixed sector jobs. His successor, who managed to attract some very big at Mercury disk vendors like Stromae become an international star or Louane, best selling in French in 2015, will prove particularly internally he is able to succeed Pascal Negro and do as well with much less knowledge. It will also have to fight hard to keep Poster Universal heads, increasingly tempted by independent careers by simply sign simple distribution agreements with those that used to be called the “labels”.

Christopher Alix


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