Looks like there's some money left in the recording industry. Music Business Worldwide reports that multiple sources have confirmed that Sony Music has bought Century Media for around $17 million. They are reporting the company's valuation at somewhere between 15 and 20 million dollars, and the company has a staff of about 50 in worldwide offices.
Talks of the sale started earlier this year with news that Century Media was shopping around for new owners, trying to court the big three labels (Sony, Warner and Universal), with Sony being the most interested.
According to the report, this type of buyout is becoming more common:
“As independent labels begin to consider taking back their digital rights from major distributors in the US market, this kind of acquisition will become more popular again,” one source predicted.
Apparently, the sale was inspired by Sony failing to acquire Rise Records, which was bought up by BMG/Universal a few years ago. So, Sony went with their #2 pick.
But what does this mean for the future of Century Media acts? Will the label be run independently or will it be a subsidiary of Sony's current roster of labels like Epic, or it's independent distributor, RED? Also, how are the label employees affected? Will there be layoffs?
Current Century Media (and subsidiary) artists include Lacuna Coil, Devin Townsend, Arch Enemy, Iced Earth, Butcher Babies, Paradise Lost, Watain, Napalm Death and others. Alumni include Suicide Silence, Cryptopsy, In This Moment, Eyehategod, Shadows Fall and Terror.
Is this the end of Century Media as we know it? Time will tell.
Update: Century Media owner Robert Kampf has since confirmed the sale and offered a new quote.