EMI - bringing music to the masses
The arrival of the millennium saw the Internet expand in its application as a low cost channel to market. Consumers were rapidly embracing the convenience and flexibility of music downloads, which circumvented the long established distribution channels that were the traditional profit base of the industry.
EMI’s response was a global technology transformation called Digitising EMI Music. Fundamental to this strategy was its Global Repertoire Programme (GR), an initiative to facilitate unfettered corporate access to its catalogues worldwide.
GR’s intended function was to enable EMI to maximise worldwide sales across all available channels – physical and digital – by having a single, globally accessible, online database listing all music assets along with the associated and extremely complex rights information.
EMI now faced the significant challenge of how to engage 65,000 staff in more than 50 countries with this radical new way of working.
V-On conducted an extensive global research project to understand how EMI’s employees would react to GR. Based on this, V-On created a dedicated brand identity and launched a communications programme to champion GR internally. Integral to this was merging the detailed branding guidelines of a global recording corporation with the straightforward language and tools necessary for GR to be used by people in multiple cultural and language markets.
V-On then developed a distinctive and engaging web-based portal that offered streamlined access to EMI’s music assets, and introduced interrogation, research and educational capabilities for users. New functionality maximised the benefits of having music data held within a centralised, consistently indexed source.
V-On’s online portal significantly cut the financial costs of EMI’s new business and technology strategy. The centralisation of the portal eliminated regional reproduction of data, reduced extensive international travel by EMI executives, and ensured lasting savings on professional fees.
Integrated adaptability to different languages and the conditions of local markets demonstrated EMI’s consideration for the cultures of its worldwide operations. However it simultaneously addressed the need for greater consistency and accuracy in data records.
The Human Resources Perspective
Change affecting thousands of people is the ultimate management challenge. By putting staff engagement at the centre of its solution for EMI, V-On guaranteed the smooth implementation of a major technology change across multiple language markets.
The Marketing Perspective
V-On created an internal brand that brought gravitas to the launch of EMI’s Global Repertoire Programme. A distinctive identity for the transition engaged employee audiences, while an automated presentation used high production values to deliver key messages.
The Finance Perspective
V-On’s understanding of the variety of cultures and languages in international business, and its ability to build appropriate online solutions, meant that EMI was able to cut the global rollout costs of a major new business and technology strategy.
“We knew we had adapted our music assets ready for the digital world, but the challenge was getting so many people going with the technology in such a short space of time. V-On’s solution was as elegant as it was successful. I can’t think of a global technology rollout at this scale that has gone so smoothly.”
Alex Di Martino - EMI GLOBAL REPERTOIRE